No thanks to a local Hibachi restaurant, I've got this song stuck in my head:
Now there, you can share in my joy. Everyday they be shufflin... true story.
I'm sorry to report that I didn't volunteer to campaign for President of the United States or anything like that today. I'm sure you were fully expecting some shocking announcement since I mastered the art of fake press conferences yesterday (and if you actually believe I mastered the art, then maybe I should run for President).
I'd like to talk a bit tonight about changing the focus of those you work with (and let's be honest, changing your focus right along with them). I've been hearing a lot about "X has to be your focus" or "you must focus your team on X" or "If you lose sight of X, then doom and gloom doom and gloom". Every time this comes up, I quit taking notes to look around the room. Does anyone look as hopeless as I do? No. Either they all have great poker faces or they're doing it right!
I'm positive I'm not alone here, but why does no one else look frustrated when this comes up? How on earth do I go back to my venue and get my coworkers to refocus on what is important? I was going to avoid this topic all together. It's going to come out sounding like I work with a team that doesn't like their job. On the contrary. I work with a team that ADORES what they do and works endless hours to get it done. However, and probably due to those endless hours, when you bring up a new event, I almost always get an "ugh" from the back of the meeting room. If I'm real lucky, I get a visitor in my office to ask who's idea it was to do yet another activity this year. Those conversations are only mildly uncomfortable - especially when it was MY idea.
Guess what? I'm going to let you in on a little secret. WE'RE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BIZ, of course we're going to do one more activity this year. Heck, we might even to 23. Get over it. We're a theater. We own and Amphitheater. We have partnered with some groups to do a concert series in Little Rock. Presenting events/concerts/theater/activities/whatever is absolutely, 100% what we are here to do.
I know this. Deep down, I know the "ugh" happy coworkers know this. However, our focus seems to be on doing what ever we can to get through the day/week/month/season rather than on doing what we can to make the next event the absolute best thing we've ever laid our hands on. I know why this is, but I don't know how to change it. I want to thrive in a culture where people are perked up when they hear another concert has been booked. Heck, I want to be that person. I can't wave a magic wand changing everyone's frame of mind and I can't press their reset button.
I'm not sure my team is one that thrives off of a motivational speech, or nifty acronyms printed on posters or star service awards. So what is it that motivates them? What is the spark they need to get excited? What is that one thing I can do that plants the seed in them that is planted in me each and every time I'm around the industry professionals I'm around this week?
I'm at a loss here. I can usually come up with a solution, but I'm drawing blanks. What would you do in this situation?
And why does this topic suck the funny, witty breath right out of me? I'm guessing because it's something that I have deep, very deep concern for. It's a real problem. Surely there is a real solution.