Thanks to all who attended our March membership meeting! Shelli Johnson presented this month on “Epic Leadership Lessons Learned in the Field.” Johnson lives on the frontier of Wyoming, where she is an entrepreneur, keynote presenter, life and leadership coach, leadership development facilitator, adventure guide, and writer.

Epic Leadership Lessons Learned in the Field
Shelli Johnson

Shelli Johnson has spent the past decade coaching leaders and leading individuals on epic adventures in the wilderness. The wilderness is a great platform for this, because it is a lot like life. There are many uncontrollable parts and we do not have the luxury of saying we are not up for it. It teaches us, under great stress, the skills to help us lead, and live, an inspired life.

Epic Lessons Learned

Lesson 1: Know your location.
Our compass is more important than our map. When we know who we are and who we want to be, that serves as an internal compass to prevent us from going off course. It can be a great comfort to have certainty about who you are and where you are going.

Lesson 2: We choose our mindset.
Every experience of our day is affected and colored by our mindset, and it is one of the few things we can choose. You do not do it once. Make a concerted effort to choose your mindset, over and over.

Ways to shift from negative to positive mindset: 

  • Bug head net: The negativity (mosquitoes) surrounding us is out of our control. We can chose to not engage and keep out the negativity.
  • Bright spots: Find the silver lining in every situation.
  • Time in nature: You do not need to traverse mountains. A simple change of scenery can work wonders on our mindset.
  • Breathing: Practice the physiological sigh, two inhales followed by exhale.
  • Gratitude: What are you grateful for?

Lesson 3: Dare to fail.
We regret our inactions more than our actions. Mountain climbing is a metaphor for facing other life obstacles.

  • Inner critic: It shows up when we are stretching ourselves. Its presence reminds us that we need to pay attention and the stakes are high. Inner critic is the backseat driver, but you are in the driver’s seat.
  • Self-compassion: Treat yourself the way you would like to treat others.
  • Ego: On an adventure we are not egotistical, we are struggling and learning. Humility is admired most in leaders.
  • Resilience: The resilience we build with every challenge translates to other areas of life.
  • Failure or regret: Ask yourself, what are you more afraid of, failure or regret? As we age, by far we regret the things we didn’t do rather than the things we did that did not work out.

When you have succeeded, it feels like anything is possible. What a great perspective from which to live and lead.

Lesson 4: Lighten up.
Laughter is medicine, and no one has ever said they regret having so much fun. We need to reduce stress and complete the stress cycle.

Lesson 5: Our people make us better.
Family and friends make mountains seem smaller. Who are your most important people? Is there someone you want to spend more time with? If so, who are you waiting for?

To learn more about Shelli Johnson and her epic lessons, visit:


Thank you to our meeting sponsor, Oh My Cupcakes! Sponsors allow us to bring in talented, quality speakers like we saw this month. As a sponsor, the speaker comes to your business for a one-hour presentation to your staff/customers and a table of six guests for the lunch. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor, contact Mindy Kroll or Sheila Hoff.

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