Happy Bday Hubs! & 5 Learned Lessons on Leadership

Today Mr. Davis officially leaves the world of “late twenties” and enters the “almost thirty” category. Happy birthday babe!

It seems like we should be feeling all crotchety and ancient by now but I can’t help but feel odd that he’s not even the big 3-0 yet. I joke that he’s a 40-year-old man trapped in a twenty-something year olds body. It’s not mean–it’s true. It’s like the old man in him is pushing his way out one grey hair at a time … which there are a few more of recently and they totally make him look more “distinguished,” of course.

The 40-year-old man has little to do with age but more so the knowledge and life lessons that take a long time to learn. While he could learn a bit more about how socks get into the washing machine (don’t even try to argue), I’m seriously impressed by him.

Our industries couldn’t be more different—he’s in insurance and finance whereas I’m in digital media and e-commerce. I like to think he taps into my knowledge to help inform his work, and I absolutely pick up tips and tricks from him on leadership and business communication.

So, in honor of his bday, here are leadership lessons learned from the hubs:

Be driven. Shawn has an insatiable desire to impact his company and the industry as a whole. He’s not afraid to make changes but makes sure ask the right questions along the way. He thrives on day-to-day business unlike anyone I know. He doesn’t just “work” – he’s constantly engaged. This isn’t something you can fake and just start. Where he got it right was picking an industry he’s grown up in having seen the personal side of the business (his dad was, and still is, an insurance agent).

Be inquisitive. Talk to people. He doesn’t network to build his own profile. I’ve watched over the years as he has reached out to people far his senior to pick their brain. He actively works to better understand how others operate and what they have been able to do to make an impact.

Grab lots of beers. It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful ideas have been sparked outside of work. Getting outside of the work environment allows everyone to speak more candidly and build a higher level of trust. I’ve been known to roll my eyes and use air quotes for the word “career development” in reference to beers with the work guys. But in truth, some of my favorite nights out are with his work peeps learning more details behind what happens all day and hearing how people with different opinions can complement the business in a constructive way.

Be confident, yet respectful. Being in a room filled with 20-year+ industry veterans is intimidating. I don’t doubt for a second that he greatly respects every single one of his colleagues for different reasons. Still, he makes his voice heard when he has a certain perspective, picking his words carefully.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, there’s a book on that. But, this was an eye opener for a perfectionist like me. When you work with a team of people, things aren’t always going to be the exact way you envisioned. Still, they get the job done. People work best when they’re empowered to do what they’re hired for so let them. Be confident that you have a team who knows their roles better than anyone and get out of their way.

This isn’t to say either one of us has it all—or anything—figured out (haha!) but I’m finally at an age where I recognize that no one has the perfect blueprint or plan in their back pocket. In fact, he might not even agree with these points (surprise!) but I know we’ll continue learning from one another. Plus, I like getting a glimpse at his life outside of showing me things like how to switch the leaf blower from blow to mulch or have a kid sit still during diaper changes (though he has some good tricks there).

Hopefully with every new grey hair comes knowledge. And if that’s the case, he’s going to be the wisest guy around by 35 ;)

Love you babe! Happy Birthday!

Shawn's 21st bday at the winery

Shawn's 21st - the first birthday I was around to celebrate with him.