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Motorcycles, Leadership, and You: Elise Mitchell

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

“The journey matters as much as the destination” -Elise Mitchell

What’s next? It’s the first question we ask ourselves after accomplishing a goal. We’re constantly striving for the next step, the next peak, the next goal. It’s hard to realize if we’re running toward something, or from something.

So used to the hustle, we forget that life is a journey as well. Relationships, personal health, and even hobbies might seem like obstacles or distractions

There are moments that can snap us back to what really matters to us. Some of these moments last 10,000 miles on the back of a motorcycle.

That was Elise Mitchell’s moment.

Three-time CEO, leadership consultant, and biker, Elise Mitchell has nearly done it all. But she wasn’t always that way. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Elise buried herself in her business constantly striving for the next goal. It only took a motorcycle ride to remind her that the journey is just as important as the destination.

Here are some of her tips from episode 23 on My Dream BIG Club’s podcast:

1. Destination leaders vs. Journey-minded leaders

Focusing solely on our entrepreneurship at the expense of our relationships, health, or even hobbies is what Elise refers to as Destination leadership. Destination leadership is all about striving for the next goal, the “what next” question that keeps us from enjoying our own accomplishments in the moment. Our drive is what makes us successful, but it can also be our weakness.

Being a journey-minded leader means 3 things: you’re not in control of everything (and you shouldn’t try to be), you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and you can’t know everything. Be okay living in the tension of uncertainty, and try to live your life. “Don’t miss the moment,” Elise says. Live a whole life taking care of yourself, others, and knowing what you’re about from a broader perspective. When you do and the COVID-19 crisis happens, you won’t panic.

2. How do you want to say you showed up?

As leaders, we can get lost trying to accomplish all of our goals. We’re either running to work to hide from our problems or neglecting our personal relationships because they take time from our busy work schedule. We become overwhelmed with everything happening in our lives. When we get caught up in the weeds, it’s important to stop, reflect, and reframe. We don’t have to take a 10,000 mile motorcycle trip like Elise, but she does give us an exercise to complete right at home.

Imagine yourself a year from now, thinking back to this moment. How do you want to say that you showed up? Write down three words for how you want to remember yourself as being. These are aspirational goals. Keep these words where you can see them every day to remind yourself how you want to be. You might not be all of them every day, some days you might not be any of them, but the point is that you’re going to learn.

You’re going to become a different person, and you’re going to like yourself a lot better when you do.

3. Getting to know who you are

As we matriculate through life, there are things that we get comfortable with, challenges that we know are good for us but we don’t follow through on. Sometimes, we get stuck in a rut. We’re not happy with where we are or where we’re going, we need some change. “Get to know what’s important to you,” Elise says. “Get back to the core or essence of who you are and what is it about where you are that’s not working?”

It all comes down to values. What are YOUR values? Elise provides us with a great exercise to find these core values. First, find a list of value words (family, respect, wealth, etc.) Circle any of those words that seem like they really resonate with you. Narrow it down to your top ten. Now, you can only pick five. Those five values capture the essence of who you are: what motivates you, what you believe in, and what gives you the most joy in life. And if you can boil it down to those five words, it’s time to ask yourself: “How does that align with what you’re doing right now?”

And if your values don’t align with your current situation, perhaps it’s time to make some changes.

To listen to the full interview and learn from our previous guests, follow our podcast here.

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