On the same walk with Skylar that I received the offer to buy SpringHill from one of our campers (see my post of July 29th) we ended up on the topic of relationships. Skylar has worked for SpringHill the past four summers including this year as a TST counselor so we’ve known each other for some time.
We talked about what made successful, long – term relationships. We agreed that one key ingredient is having clear and understood expectations whether it is a marriage, work relationship or friendship.
We also agreed that most relationships we knew that end up broken were the result of unfulfilled expectations. And this was because expectations were not clearly understood and agreed upon by everyone in the relationship.
At this point in the conversation, I have to admit, I felt sage like in my dispensing of wisdom about relationships to Skylar.
Then Skylar proceeded to share with me that he and his co – counselor, Will, decided to create expectations with their TST campers. Expectations that they, as their counselors, had for the campers and expectations that the campers had for them.
They wrote these all down and posted them in their cabin. The counselors and the campers referred to the posted lists when it appeared that agreed upon expectations where not being met.
Skylar said this process has helped create a very positive culture in their team and helped everyone work through difficult moments.
I loved this initiative by Skylar and Will, referred to by their campers as “Skill” (combination of Skylar and Will), to create the best possible experience for their campers. “Skill’s” example drove home the importance of having clear expectations in every important, long – term relationship.
I was also reminded of two other things.
First, we have many sages at SpringHill you just need to go for a walk with some folks, ask and listen.
Second, the truth is everything I know about leadership I’ve learned at camp.