December Blog: Be Your Downed Cow!

December Blog: Be Your Own Downed Cow 
Featuring: Tiffany E. Slater, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP 

Here we are, December 2023. As I reflect on how quickly the year has gone by, I think about
what I accomplished, the improvements I have made, and the accomplishments I plan to
achieve in the coming year. It also causes me to pause, because I have let another year pass
without focusing on me and the things that mean most to me.

I was having a conversation with a dear friend, Janice, who is a hall-of-fame journalist in the
agricultural space. She told me about her journey to becoming an expert storyteller and how she
learned to make the most of every story, even the difficult ones. Her first trip to a farm to
interview a farmer was chaotic. She arrived for the interview and the farmer drove up on a
tracker and told her to jump in. They went into the pasture where, to her surprise, was a downed
cow. This, as she explained, was one of the most stressful and challenging instances for a
farmer to manage. Everything had to come to a halt and nothing was more important than
focusing their attention on that downed cow. Due to illness, the cow would not get up and if they
remained there - down - it could die.

My first thought was, girl you are one heck of a storyteller. My second thought was, have I ever
been my own downed cow?

Imagine having something so valuable that you pause everything for it and nothing else matters.
Imagine being so important that everything halts for you. All of the attention and resources are
directed towards you.

I can think of a million other people, deadlines, events, issues, etc. that have been a downed
cow for me, but when have I allowed myself to be that? When was the last time I allowed myself
to be someone else’s downed cow? Even in sickness, I try to be strong and take care of myself
so as to not put anyone else out. I go to work to make sure I meet deadlines and not let anyone
down. Heaven forbid someone realizes I too am human. What about your team? The end of the
year can be brutal with all of the end-of-year reports, deadlines, performance evaluations, client
expectations, you name it.

Let’s start 2024 off lighter by planning for the winter break of 2024 to have fewer deadlines.
Move the dates to October or November so that you and your team are not as stressed during
this time of year and, perhaps, can take time off and REALLY enjoy it.

As we embark upon this very busy season of love, laughter, and joy, I invite you to be kind to
yourself by intentionally focusing on YOU and allowing yourself to be the focus. Create space to
care for yourself. You deserve it! Be your downed cow!


Dr. Tiffany E. Slater is the CEO and Senior Human Resources Consultant for HR TailorMade - THE human resource (HR) solution for small businesses. HR TailorMade partners with small businesses to provide seamless HR support for their team.

Dr. TIffany has been an HR professional for over 25 years with experience in all aspects of human resources. She also has experience in a variety of sectors including union and non-union, PK-12 public education, property management, manufacturing, and casino industries to name a few. 

She earned a Ph.D. in Organization Development and a Master's of Human Resources Management. She is an SHRM-Senior Certified Professional, Certified John Maxwell coach, trainer and speaker, Myers Briggs facilitator, and True Colors trainer. She is a continual learner and always willing to share that knowledge with others.

Dr. TIffany has been a highlighted expert on the podcast “Leadership Live at 8:05: Talking Small Business” and “WorkTrends”, featured by HUAMI magazine and Shoutout Colorado Magazine, and was a featured business on “Good Morning Saint Louis”. Most recently, she spoke at the Black Innovation Alliance Sustainability Summit about Managing High Performing Teams. Dr. Tiffany has presented at the Goal Digger Annual Retreat hosted by Sistahbiz Global Network. She has also contributed to a WorkLife article, Why bosses can be too nice, and why it’s bad for business. 

In March 2022, Dr. Tiffany was celebrated as a Stellar Woman Business Leader by the Missouri Minority Business Development Agency.