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What Matters? “Why” Matters.

Published Date: May 15, 2020

Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek wrote a book called “Start with Why.” His central argument is great leaders inspire because they can create a story of “Why.” They have the ability to articulate to their constituents, whether that be employees, customers, or something else, the bigger reasons of “Why.” From an understanding of “Why,” we can then formulate “What” we’re going to do and “How” we’re going to do it. And people will do it simply because they understand “Why.”

As we start to head back to our barns and our shows, there will be rules. These rules outline “what” is expected of us and “how” we’re going to act. But it would be helpful to understand “why.” Of course, everyone knows of the threat of the unseen virus but there are more reasons wrapped in individual, human stories.

This past week, Steve and Tiffany Wheeler’s Autumn Hills Farm reopened in Kentucky. They published a set of rules that they expect of their customers and visitors. You can find their communication here. But it’s helpful to know “Why.” Here are Tiffany’s own words as to “why” the rules of Autumn Hills are what they are:

  1. The welfare of my child:  Even before they discovered this mystery illness that's related to Covid-19 that only affects children, I was worried about Finley's well-being throughout all of this.  The thought of her, or ANY child, getting sick and having to be admitted into the hospital BY HERSELF, is unfathomable to me.  Steve and I don't have parents or family nearby, but if we did, that would also be a major concern for us, as well.
  2. The welfare of my employees:  if someone brings Covid19 into my barn and exposes my employees, we will have to shut the barn down.    The thought of me and Steve having to care for 50+ horses, while our help is quarantined or recovering from this virus, is daunting, at best. Then the thought of our employees, who are like family to us, contracting the virus and exposing THEIR families, because of working for us, gives me major anxiety. This is why I proposed the rule to the JLC to not allow clients in stalls with their horses during Phase One.  Germs linger and stalls are an enclosed space.  Why risk it?  This is only temporary.
  3. The welfare of ourselves:  I think any empathetic person puts most everyone before themselves.  My only concern about Steve or myself being exposed is that I have compromised lungs.  I had a double dose of Pneumonia and Pleurisy about 10 years ago.  Since then, any illness I contract goes straight to my lungs and it takes me weeks or months to get over.  I can't help but think Covid-19 would hit me hard.  And if I get hit hard by this, then our family and business take a big hit.  

So, I implore clients to PLEASE be smart when coming to the barn. Please abide by all the rules and guidelines set forth by your barn. Be conscious of what you are doing, where you are standing and what you're touching. We've missed you as much, or more, as you've missed us. But we have a lot at stake here.  We've tried to keep our little bubble Covid-free, as so many people depend on us. These actions are temporary, so let's all make smart decisions to stay healthy and keep the people around us healthy.

This is one story of “Why” from a very human horse trainer who is also a wife, a mom, a daughter, and our friend. Everyone has their own story of “Why.” In our rush to return, let’s take a breath and try to remember “Why.”

What Matters. “Why” Matters.

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