I come before you today as a person who is learning how to shift better! The actual definition for shift is: a slight change in position, direction, or tendency. In my company I am shifting the direction because people need different tools. In my personal life I am shifting my tendency of becoming anxious with time and having everything in order, to focus on what matters and to worry less. Leaders need to know when the right time is to shift (whether that’s a small shift to 1st gear or a large one that will need to works its way up to 6th gear). I do not know how to drive stick shift but have had a few lessons and definitely need to improve! Reading up on tips for stick shift I realized they can easily apply to shifting our position, direction and tendencies in our lives.



How to drive stick shift = How to shift ourselves!

  1. Get a feel for the pedals, mainly the clutch before you start driving.
    • Communicate! Have conversations with your family, friends, and peers (get a feel for the pedal and clutch) and see what needs to shift.

      Examples: If a manager notices his team is having more sick days or people are arriving late and wanting to leave early, then you need to check the “pedals and clutch” and see whats going on. You will begin to identify the problem and find a way to shift. It could be as easy as touching base with each person daily so they know what they are doing matters.

      If a wife starts to notice her husband coming home anxious and unhappy, she needs to get a feel for the “pedals and clutch” and start asking what it may be. It might just be that things are out of order when he comes home, or that the kids are instantly handed to him the moment he walks in and she started nagging about the time. You may need to shift your attitude and expectations. He may need to shift the way that he helps.

  2. Practice! Find an empty parking lot and get comfortable before hitting the open road.
    • Practice! Going from 1st gear to 6th is not smart (it may not even be possible)!!! So create gradual goals so that you are successful!

      Examples: If you need to shift your job then read the book 28 Days To The Work You Love and test out new job ideas. (don’t just quit and then you have no income!)

      If you need to shift your expectations from your employees, call a meeting and discuss with your employees whats working and whats not and test out what changes you want made and how that will be done.

      Don’t be afraid of change, find out whats working and find out whats not and test it!

  3. When parking your car, engage your emergency brake! Your car will roll if you don’t!
    • Have a plan! Make sure you count the cost of what it will take to make the shift. Big or small, count the cost! Have a backup plan. Don’t make this be the point where you never launch the shift, but ask yourself all the hard questions and realize that you may have to shift again and again until you get it. But remember there is risk, just make sure you have an emergency brake to engage if need be.
  4. Fully engage the clutch by pushing it all the way in. If you don’t you will grind and destroy your cars gears.
    • Don’t just do it half way! Go all the way! It is a great thing to get to the next gear, there may be a little bit of grinding at the beginning, but be confident and go all the way so that the grind becomes less and less.
  5. It can be frustrating but keep driving and you’ll get it!
    • When life isn’t going your way, and when you keep stalling, just remind yourself of the basics and keep going.

Great leaders know when its time to shift, when its time to stick it out, and when its time to move on. (keep, tweak, toss)

Be the type of person that has the ability to keep learning in all that you do. Don’t get stuck into a gear that you are comfortable in, keep shifting and you will eventually have the drive that is smooth and seamless!

Smell the Bread!

A baker said to me recently: “I’ve lost the romance and can’t smell bread anymore.”

That is my worst nightmare! I am so glad I can smell freshly baked bread, even though I shouldn’t eat it as much.

Let’s analyze why this baker made that comment.

  1. He didn’t want to sound crazy by telling me his true feelings about bread, so he underplayed it.
  2. He has simply lost sight of how amazing bread is because of his daily dealings with it.
  3. His only motivation for making bread is to make money and pay his bills.
  4. He was having an off day and still has a fondness for bread.

Whatever his reason behind his bread comment, it got me thinking about why we lose who you are or why we hold back. 

Hesitation and fear. You can also call it procrastination. But when you let hesitation and fear make the decisions in your life, than each day you are becoming less and less of you.

  • We hesitate in telling our spouse that they are cute, funny or smart, out of fear that they may not receive it well or that they don’t think the same about you.
  • We hesitate in speaking up in meetings because we have a fear that our idea is stupid or not in line with what they are really asking.
  • We hesitate in paying our bills on time because what if we are short on money and we haven’t created a plan for where our money goes (I could really go on and on with this point because I am a major Dave Ramsey advocate). Quick quote: Don’t let your money run you, you run it!
  • We hesitate in sharing our goals and dreams, because others may not understand.
  • We hesitate in getting healthy, out of fear that we may fail and that we may have to be kept accountable.
  • We hesitate in putting others first, out of fear that we won’t get it in return.

A lot of fear and hesitation keeps us from being incredible people!

What if the baker said this instead, “To deal with bread everyday is the most wonderful thing in the world! Not only does it smell good and taste great, it brings people together! The act of breaking bread is my favorite thing in the world!!!” 

I would then say, “I”m sold! I will buy all the bread that you have!”

I also believe we hesitate in sharing our true selves because we will get opposition.

THAT’S OK!! Not everyone likes bread. I have family members that have actually said, “I don’t get the big deal with bread.”

I often hesitate in sharing the things that I love out of fear that I will fail, that people will make fun of me, not understand, and that it may sound stupid. But here it is:

I love to serve others! I love to connect with people and help them see their gifts and talents! I want people to wake up every day and chose to serve others, remind themselves daily of the things that they love, and go after it. 

Being vulnerable is hard. But when you align yourself with God’s will for your life and how He created you, then you can be confident in your daily decisions! Each day wake up and align yourself with Him! You will mess up, but don’t stay there, just make it apart of your dance and learn from it.

Fight hesitation and fear by remembering who you are and why you were created!

Great Leaders bestow Grace and Truth!

Recall the last time that you gave!

Well Nikki,

  • I gave the driver on the road a piece of my mind!
  • I gave a mean look to the lady with all of her kids going crazy at the grocery store and made sure she felt even more alone.
  • I gave my husband a guilt trip when he said he had to work late, even though I know he works so hard for the family.
  • I gave my employee a hard time about not meeting the deadline, even though they are swamped and made every other deadline.
  • I gave myself a big pat on the back for not being like everyone else and having my stuff together!

Every single day we are faced with opportunities to give, opportunities to be selfless, and opportunities to show others they care and matter. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to make sure that we are the first in line, that no one cuts me off, that people get the judgment they deserve, and that leading in fear and guilt is the way to improve our respect.

When people are given grace and truth they are happier and more productive. These two have to be paired with one another because if you have a leader that is all grace, then no one can do wrong and everyone deserves a second, third, forth, fifth chance. And a leader that is only truth can be taken as someone who gives harsh critique and gives their people anxiety every time they encounter that leader. So to be a dynamic and great leader you need to bestow grace and truth!

Grace: undeserved favor; an attractively polite manner of behaving; courteous goodwill.(Webster dictionary)

Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a fact. (Webster dictionary)

  • I recently heard a story about this young girl who had been in an accident and had major burns on her face. She was beginning to heal, but the burns were still noticeable and wouldn’t go away. This young girl and her mother decided to get out of the house and go to the mall. You can imagine that her mother was very protective of her daughter, but knew that this was their new reality so she had to face other people. They went from shop to shop and people would stop and stare but eventually move on. They found themselves at the food court and had some ice cream. While they were sitting there people would walk by, glance over and keep going. This one older man sat down, close to them, looked up and saw the young girl. He stared (like most people), but didn’t look away. He kept staring and staring to the point where it was making another bystander uncomfortable and almost told him to stop. The older man interrupted them and said to the young girl, “I am so sorry for staring, but you have the most beautiful eyes.” After that the three of them started talking and ended up laughing and having a great time. I believe that this man portrayed grace and truth!

We see peoples marks so much faster than we see their beauty. img_1393

My challenge for you, as a leader and as a person, is to live your life with grace and truth. I know that people who error on the side of grace might be thinking, “I rock at this,” when you may need to show more truth and honesty. And those who error on the side of truth may think, “I’m not harsh with my words, people are just too sensitive,” and that might be the case sometimes, but reflect on your tone and purpose when you become critical. “The way truth is said is just as important as truth itself!” -Al Lopus

Some people may need to hear that they mess up, and some may need to hear that they rock. Just remember that with both statements, come at it honestly and graciously!

When there is both grace and truth, then you have the recipe for a safe, inviting, efficient, and a caring workplace! Recognize those situations where you may be heavier on the grace or heavier on the truth, and shift your words and actions.

Christ is the ultimate example of a servant leader. Follow in His footsteps.

John 1:14″And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What Motivates You?

  •  New Year
  • Getting in shape for your wedding
  • A New Job
  • Losing the baby weight
  • That promotion
  • Volunteering at a specific place because your “special someone” volunteers there too
  • Studying for a final
  • Getting projects done around the house before family comes into town (that’s a personal one of mine)

We are motivated by rewards and results.

So why do we procrastinate? Research has found that the act of procrastination happens because the feelings aren’t invested in the end goal. Once your feelings are aligned with the goal and purpose, then your motivation kicks in and procrastination goes out the window.

So how do we get our feelings aligned with the end goal and reward?

  1. Get Positive! (Post inspirational quotes, wake up and list what you are grateful for.)
    • We let the procrastination bug seep into our lives when our mood is low and when we’re “not feeling it.”
    • Research shows that happiness increases productivity and makes people more successful. “Smiling’s my favorite.” -Buddy the Elf        smilings-my-favorite
    • Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%.
    • What this all means is that we need to think more about managing our moods which will help us manage our work, because you will actually want to do work!
  2. Get things done and Get rewarded!
    • Studies show that rewards are responsible for 3/4 of why we do things.
    • Treat yourself when you have completed something, or have penalties when you don’t.(When my husband and I finished a round of whole 30 we would go out to a nice dinner; that was only once a month, but it sure tasted good and was worth it)
  3. Get Accountability
    • Share your goals, don’t be silent about them. When you have accountability and pressure, you will be more inclined to follow through and get things done!  (Year after year I told my husband I would sign up for a half marathon, but didn’t. Then my sister in law asked me to do one with her, we signed up, had a schedule, kept each other accountable, and then kicked that half marathons booty!) img_9693
  4. Routines Rule!
    • Having a routine builds good habits, creates efficiency, and builds momentum (objects that are in motion stay in motion).
      • Good habits: Your routine might not be a healthy routine, so change it! (ex. I use to go and get a bagel every morning before work (bad habit). Now I go to the gym in the morning and have my coffee and eggs (good habit).
      • Creates efficiency: I make the same breakfast for my husband every day! When I first started I thought, man this is a process, now it is so automatic for me that I bust it out!
      • Builds momentum: Getting things done in the morning creates small wins and motivates us to keep the wins going. It also helps with tackling the problems when they arise.
      • Sidenote: Make sure you aren’t so stuck to your routine that anything new that enters in it will throw you way of kilter. There will be days where your routine will be upside down, handle it, know it’s only one day, and rock that day to the best of your ability.
  5. Make your To Do list the night before
    • Prep for meetings, make a list with your top priorities for the next day
    • It is inevitable that there will be something added to your day, so when you have a plan, you will know exactly how to respond to added “urgencies” screenshot-2017-01-25-11-57-09


This whole list can be summed up with one word (intentionality).

Live a life with intention!

Have a purpose behind what you do!

My friend once told me, make sure you know the reason behind why we do things, because you will be asked and instead of giving the answer “because that’s just what we do,” give answers that matter and will get people to see the end goal of the reason behind everything we do.

And if we don’t know the reason, then get rid of it!

Don’t be afraid of change. Changing bad habits into good ones should happen more often in this culture.

Questions for the leader in you:

  • How are you motivating your team?
  • How are you staying motivated with your own life?
  • Are you being an example to others?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses – only results.” -Ken Blanchard

My 30th Birthday

Romans 12:10-11 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”

I absolutely love celebrating people’s birthday. In High School I would have my dad take me to pick up donuts or bagels for my friends when it was their birthday and then show up at their house before school. When I was about to turn 25 I found a post on Pinterest about a woman who did 35 random acts of kindness on her 35th birthday and I thought that was pretty awesome, so I did that for my 25th. Now fast forward 5 years and decided to do it again for my 30th! This time was different because I had my friends and family all over the U.S. sign up to do an Act of Random Kindness. The beautiful thing about this was that it didn’t take long before every random act was assigned to someone. The stories that people had after doing their kind act was so sweet, and it made all of us want to do this on a more regular basis.

We have so much to be thankful for. Taking a few moments to see others, be selfless and give more, was pretty easy (you just have to be prepared and intentional). I want to share a few stories from that day…

-My Sister-in-law made cookies for the police department and her daughter made cookies for the neighbors. They packaged the cookies in such a pretty and professional way. When they got to the police department it looked like no one was there, but that didn’t stop them. They saw someone and said, “we have cookies for the Police Officers.” One of the officers came out and she told him about my 30 Acts of Random Kindness and gave him the cookies. His response was priceless, “you must have known a fat kid was on duty today!” It made them laugh and then my sister-in-law said, “thank you for all that you do in our community.” He was touched and looked very appreciative.


-My husband, sister and I were at Togo’s picking up sandwiches right after we had just done our 2 ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness), when two young girls walk in ready to order their sandwiches. Our order was about to be done and my husband went to the sandwich specialist and asked to purchase a gift card. He got the gift card and before the two girls had paid for their meals he handed them the gift card and told them about my 30 Acts of Random Kindness plan. One of the girls gave him a skeptical look at first because she didn’t know if he was trying to sell them something, and once they found out he was giving them a gift card they couldn’t believe it. They loved the idea and the girl that accepted the gift card told us that her birthday was  tomorrow. I just love how God was orchestrating these different interactions throughout the whole day.

-Another ARK was to pass out goodies to your neighbors. My friend took that one and made healthy treats and passed them out. This led to meeting new neighbors, planning a dinner night with those neighbors, which happened to be the following night, and building better connections with their community.


-My sister and I passed out water bottles in front my 24 Hour gym and the response was so sweet. We had just passed out our last bottle and one of the girls inside came running out shouting, “thank you for being so kind, and happy birthday!” It truly warmed our hearts!

-My friend and her daughter went to drop off quarters at a local Laundromat. Once they got there they saw that it was packed, so she walked around passing out quarters, and her little girl stuck some in the dispenser for people to be surprised when they reach in and find quarters already there. The best part is that they are going to make this a monthly activity.

-I had a few people pick the ARK that gives pastors gift cards to coffee shops. The thought of so many pastors being blessed on that day was incredible. One pastor posted about his gift card and how he felt like it was his birthday!


-My sister and brother in law paid for the people behind them in a drive through coffee shop (Dutch Bros.) and the girls inside couldn’t believe the idea of 30 ARK’s for my 30th. I think that was another thing that shocked a lot of us was hearing that others want to do this idea! I hope that many more do!


-My last ARK was to my parents who raised me to love ands serve others. They show the love of Christ with how much they sacrifice to benefit the kingdom of God.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Thank you for reading this! And Thank you to those who will make this their own and do Acts of Random Kindness on their Birthday!

“I have been called not to success but to obedience as a witness to others and as an active agent of Gods plan for His kingdom.” -Lead Like Jesus

Here is a list of other Acts of Random Kindness that we did

-Quarters at air station

-Mani/Pedi Gift Card to a friend

-Basket of goodies to Firemen

-Gas Gift Card on a car

-Diapers to a pregnancy center

-Leave $5 in a redbox movie

-Pay for the person behind you at a coffee shop

-Leave your favorite book somewhere for someone to have

-Notes to Missionaries

-Toys to Children’s Hospital

-Cookies to the Police Dept.

-Beach Clean up

-Donuts and Flowers for a retirement community

-Basket of Goodies for your parents

How to be an AWESOME leader that people want to follow

  1. Lead by example
    • Actually do what you ask others to do.
    • “Leading is not the same as being the leader. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you – not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.” -Simon Sinek
  2. Be nice
    • We live in a very sarcastic world. Sarcasm (not always, but often), is used when someone doesn’t want to be vulnerable and show their kindness. But when you choose to be kind to someone instead of being sarcastic (even though you’re just kidding) it produces a safer environment.
    • Don’t be afraid of being nice, that doesn’t mean you’re weak.
  3. Be honest
    • I’m talking to those who have a hard time confronting. If my husband and I were afraid of hurting the other persons feelings, than it would amount to us being fake with one another.
    • You need to know how to call others out when they mess up, and when they are being awesome.
    • Make sure you have continual expectation alignment!
  4. Care
    • Know your people and give them your time.
    • When a leader shows that they care, they are communicating to their people that they matter and are important!
    • People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them.
  5. Keep Learning
    • Podcasts rock (Dale Partridge StartupCamp, Seth Godin, Christy Wright, Dave Ramsey)
    • Read books and blogs (Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard, John Townsend, Dale Partridge, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek)
    • Ask others how they lead (Go to lunch and meet with others with the intention of asking them questions. Try not to be the one talking the whole time.)

Use these tools to improve your leadership skills and continue to rock at leading!

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.” -Simon Sinek

Boost Your Staff’s Morale TODAY!

How to boost your staff’s morale TODAY!

Sitting at a desk all day will physically slow down your endorphins, which will in turn slow down your productivity and motivation! The likelihood that the view from your workplace is of a beautiful mountain or ocean is pretty slim. So how do you boost your teams morale towards being motivated, productive and ready to serve your people with greatness? Well go no further because I am here to tell you!!

I love steps so here are 5 practical steps for you and your team.

1. Stand up and walk over to each persons desk and ask, “How’s your day going?”

Simple and effective. This may seem like it will take up a lot of your time but once it becomes apart of your routine you will see how effective it is. Having that interaction with your people will amount to knowing them, seeing their challenges, brainstorming with them, and a more productive team.

2.  Finish this phrase for each staff member and share it with them. “I noticed that…” 

My goal here is that you remember something that they may be stressed about, need help with, or simply to brainstorm with. This phrase can go far…”I noticed that you came in late because your son is sick, how is everything at home, do you need to leave early?” Wow, you listened, stopped whatever you were doing to talk with them, and then acted. “I noticed that you said you felt overwhelmed with that project, how can I help?” “I noticed that you had to come up with a solution for ___, do you need to brainstorm about it?” You don’t have to ask this to everyone everyday, but this should be often enough and then it will just become natural. Your staff will feel heard, cared for, and you will find that communication will go through the roof!

(1 & 2 can be done at the same time, if you didn’t catch that)

3. Know how to serve them. I am the type of person that loves little texts, notes or cards with words of affirmation or appreciation, my husband is the type of person who loves it when things get done without him asking. If he got a card he would appreciate it, but that didn’t necessarily serve him the way that he feels served. What you need to do is simply ask your people. How do you feel best appreciated?

Here are a few questions you can send out: (circle the ones you like)

A) I feel appreciated with a gift card

B) I feel appreciated with acknowledgment

C) I feel appreciated with acts of service

D) I feel appreciated with food! (Food one may surprise you)

4. One-on-one meetings are necessary. Every time I met with my boss or leader, it always was so helpful because it was a time to hear expectations again and I was able to voice my opinion just to them. Be aware of the time and make it short, but when people are actually kept accountable and cared for, they will keep coming back with great work.

5. Inspire them. Your team will notice how you treat others, how you work, and how you respond to stressful situations. Be great, remember to always keep learning, share your knowledge, and lift those up around you.

David Witt from The Ken Blanchard Companies said, “Look back at your own experience and you’ll probably discover that your best boss brought out the best in you because he or she expected a lot and also supported your growth and development. That’s the one-two punch that creates high levels of engagement and performance!”

People need leaders who know them, care for them, and speak truth to them!