Prior to the flag ceremony in front of one hundred other scouts, we faced a harsh reality:
- Our boys weren’t quite sure how to run a flag ceremony this new way
- Our boys weren’t in the proper uniform, nor were shirts tucked in
- Our boys hadn’t even practiced the cheer we encouraged them to prep
Yes, the daunting task of convincing young men to attempt a new process, to then stick to the rules, and even show any team spirit, had fallen upon the shoulders of us two parents volunteering to help these kids out for a weeklong camp in the wilderness. What are we doing here we asked ourselves?
Have you ever experienced any of these scenarios in the workplace?
You find yourself in a new leadership position.
You arrive fired up, ready to conquer the failings of the last leader, or to build upon their successes.
Immediately you are thrown into a new process or system, with a team that doesn’t understand it either, the presentation of how to use it needs to be displayed on the fly.
You quickly realize the team is not up to speed on the latest technology, the rules and regulations, and doesn’t have the willingness to even try.
Where’s the team spirit!? You cheer loudly and then whither into a pathetic whimper.
If you are a true leader The Promise kicks into high gear when all goes wrong.
Like a ship captain watching the entire crew standing on deck pointing to the oncoming inevitable strike against the jagged rocks, you take the helm with all your might, shouting orders for all hands on deck, to right the ship, boost the engines, unfurl the sail…whatever it takes to move away from the fate you know is about to come.
And yes, you very well may go down with the ship.
In this instance at scout camp we were too late.
The flag was treated with respect but not properly nor timely raised; the shirts untucked, uniforms unkempt, where had we gone wrong; the cheer was embarrassing, only 2 of the 8 scouts went for it in full voice, and come to find out, they were the ones who perform in theater – the others were athletes, not cheerleaders.
Following the ceremony we gathered the boys. I nearly lost it, like CEO Jason Brown of an advertising firm, who banned phones from work meetings. Instead of freaking out on these young boys we started with what they did well, such as they were alive and had been partially awake, and then addressed the mistakes.
This did not go over well.
But we did not let up.
We continued, every time they returned from their merit badge classes, to discuss what was expected, practiced the right ways, and exemplified it ourselves as leaders.
In business & management there are sometimes do-overs, and there are at scout camp, too. But what could we have done differently before being thrown on the stage where a successful performance demands practice?
- We could have discussed the systems in place, the rules & regulations, read the writing on the wall, practiced the routine as we would do it on the stage, known our responsibilities before being called upon.
- We could have enforced the uniform, helped their understanding of it’s importance, the reason behind it, the respect for it, worn it properly ourselves, and the repercussions for not keeping the standard.
- We could have found the engaging and inspiring clarion call that everyone resonated with, had them create it, rather than encouraging something too far out of their comfort zone.
When faced with a work team that is not working as a team, The Promise is to not give up on the people who have failed, but rather to own up as a Leader in realizing we haven’t taught the Team properly prior to the performance, and that it was the preparation from the leadership which failed.
Failure in business can mean huge financial losses, or even be fatal depending on the profession. Such is the reason for the amount of practice which goes into meetings, to understanding and discussing the rules, and training prior to a performance that could go wrong (obligatory eye roll from disgruntled employee: it is recommended you take this person aside and help them see themselves as one of the most important leaders for your success).
Such is the reason for conferences and conventions, speakers who train and motivators who inspire – hey, I know a guy.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” ~ Zig Ziglar
(this quote is especially true at scout camp)
To say we got it perfect by the end of the week with these scouts would be a lie, and since a scout is trustworthy, I’ll be honest. However, we improved drastically, and we became one of the top troops at the camp by the time we packed up.
The Promise is the same across the board, whether with employees who are disengaged or just disinterested, or boys in a dustbowl at scout camp trying to see through allergy swollen red eyes:
When we take the time to understand and practice The Company Promise already in place, when we show respect to the standard and expect it from each other, where we share team spirit and move forward with pride, we can say with sweat on our brow and joy in our hearts that we did our best, we came, we conquered, and fulfilled The Promise together.
Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com
Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.