When I started a master’s program in Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership in 2018, people asked me, “What are you going to do with that degree?” Sometimes you know the exact path to reach your destination. Other times, you have no idea what’s on the other side of the mountain, only that you have to climb it and see for yourself. Grad school fit the latter.
With a four day/week job off-farm, farming, and single-parenting my kids half the time, I took three years to graduate. I’m grateful that I took longer. I think time is one of the most under-appreciated factors for learning and change. It takes years for young trees to begin bearing fruit, and it doesn’t matter how many people you put on the project or who they are. As we age, learning evolves from collecting information and experiences to connecting more of the information and experiences that we collect.
I had time to let connections sink in, time to appreciate the value of what I was learning, time to build relationships with people and across ideas. The relationships–people and ideas–helped me see that the principles of seemingly disparate experiences–counterinsurgency, regenerative agriculture, and social innovation–followed similar principles: immerse yourself in the environment, observe without judgement, see the relationships across the system, and shift your thinking and actions to facilitate the positive relationships.
I started Odyssey Collaborations –a Leadership Coaching and Change Management Consulting business–in the spring of 2021. I love helping individuals and teams discover new perspectives and practices that change how they see and solve problems. Then, I literally ground myself again working on the farm. Lessons, connections, and curiosities continue to unfold ahead of me as I alternately work with people & organizations and then among nature.
I know this: learning, leadership, change, and life itself are all journeys.
We're all trying to make our way to better.
Former Marine Infantry Officer. Iraq Vet. Interested in Regenerative Agriculture at any scale.
Odyssey Farm, LLC.
The Odyssey Farm Journal
Odyssey Farm, LLC
Dane County Climate Champion
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