Go the extra 250 miles

There is so little that I can do for my Staff team.

I wish I could raise all of their money for them. I wish I could spend time with them every week, mentoring them and prayer-walking the campus and talking strategy. I wish I could be in the trenches with them day in and day out, all in, all my attention on them.

But that's not what an Area Director does. That's beyond my capacity.

But every so often I get an opportunity to do something special for members of my team. I can do a training on campus. I can run out and pick up coffee during an exhausting afternoon. I can grab a truck and help someone move.

I got to do one of those special things today. I drove 250 miles to take one of my Staff for lunch on his birthday. Sure, we talked about campus strategy and new student outreach and chapter camp and leadership succession ... we talked business. We could have talked about this over the phone or over email. But today was his birthday. And he deserved a visit.

Taking the extra step to do something special communicated some things to my Staff ...
  • He is doing excellent work, work worth supporting.
  • His work is important and matters to me.
  • He's not just an employee. He's a friend.
I remember Patrick Lencioni's theory that people will enjoy their jobs when they feel like they're doing good work, when they feel like they're doing important work and when they feel known and cared for by their organization. Creating an environment where these three things happen is one way I put fuel in the motivational tank of the people I work with. It's a huge part of my job.

And I love it.

If you're curious, the Lencioni book I'm referring to is Three Signs of a Miserable Job. The core summary of the book is available here: http://www.tablegroup.com/books/signs/media/Three_Signs_Model.pdf

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