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The One Ingredient Necessary for Any Team’s Success

Our exclusive IN Food Service Teams from the past 3 summers

Our exclusive IN Food Service Teams from the past 3 summers

We’ve just hired a new Food Services Director for our Michigan overnight camp. Her name is Ann Marie and she moved here all the way from Texas. On her first night in Michigan she had dinner with Joel Hamilton, our Site Director, and her son in our New Frontiers Dining Hall. It was a Saturday night of one of our Winter Retreats.

And it just so happened that my wife Denise and I were also in the Dining Hall so we joined them for dinner where Ann Marie asked both Denise and I what we’d like to see in our Food Service program. I answered that I wanted people to brag about the food, the service, and entire dining experience.

My wife, on the other hand had the far better answer. She told Ann Marie, “I hope working in the Dining Hall becomes the most desirable job at SpringHill”

Why is Denise’s answer a far better one? Because accomplishing any great vision or achieving any big goal starts with having the right people. And the only way to have the right people is for the right people to want to be on your team. Which means you need to be the kind of organization that the right people want to work for.

And I know this is to be true, even in Food Service, because this is exactly what our Indiana overnight camp has accomplished over the last few years. Under the leadership of our Operations Director, Keith Rudge and his Food Service managers, working in our Indiana Food Service Department has become one of the most desirable jobs at camp. And the result has been an ever-increasing quality of food and better dining experience.

So after watching Joel, Ann Marie and her team work these past few weeks, I have no doubt they’ll exceed both Denise’s and my expectations and, more importantly, they’ll accomplish what our Indiana Food Service team has so beautifully accomplished over these past few years.

Getting to “Running Smoothly”

Legend has it that the late, great coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, was nearly useless during games, at least from the player’s perspective. If this was actually true then the question is how can one of the greatest football coaches of all time, the man for whom the Super Bowl trophy’s named after, be of no use during the most important events in a team’s season – the football games?

The answer to that question also answers the question why the SpringHill summer camp teams have been able to describe the first two weeks of camp as “being remarkably smooth”. As I promised in my last post, below are the steps we expended an enormous amount of energy on to assure “running smoothly” this summer became a reality.

Warning – there’s no magic formula here, just common sense stuff written about and practiced by effective organizations, including the Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s, since the beginning of time:

First, we find the right people. At SpringHill we define the “right people” as being “mission driven and mission effective”. “Mission driven” describes people who committed to our mission, align with our values and fit our culture. “Mission effective” people have the skills, abilities and experiences to advance our mission (not just believe in it) and achieve our goals.

Second, we take these “right people” and make sure they clearly understand their jobs in terms of roles, responsibilities and outcomes.

Third, we train and equip “the right people” mentally, physically and spiritually so they will achieve their job outcomes and help SpringHill fulfill its mission.

Finally, we coach, communicate, encourage, inspire, and provide positive accolades and helpful critique about how the “right people” are doing on the job and how SpringHill’s doing overall.

When we take these four steps the odds are very good that, like this summer, camp will “run remarkably smoothly”.

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