Great Stories

Coaching and Cake

I’ve had many titles in my career: Program Director, Camp Director, Kayak Instructor, Youth Pastor, Church Planter, Board Chair, etc. But one of my favourites is definitely coach.

During my undergrad I earned my certifications in several sports and I’ve coached at least a dozen teams in half a dozen sports since then. This year I’m coaching one of my own kids for what may be the final time (and our PeeWee hockey team is undefeated as of this writing). Teaching, motivating, challenging, and encouraging athletes to do their best both individually and as a team is something I love to do!

But one of the most gratifying coaching opportunities I’ve ever had came a couple years ago when I leader I respect extremely highly asked me to become his “Celebration Coach”.

After being exposed to The REACTION Dashboard material several times he caught the emphasis on the power of skilled celebration to improve organizational culture and drive results and wanted some help to excel in this area. I was honoured to oblige.

We meet a couple times a year to talk through how he’s doing at invigorating celebration in his organization. It’s always a lot of fun and the early results are impressive. They are recognizing that, even in a place where celebration was already pretty strong, being intentional about pausing to notice and share the things that are meaningful and relevant makes a difference.

I was so proud last week when I got a text from Scott sharing his latest intentional celebration. His Board of Directors were completing the important but demanding task of establishing a Board Policy Manual. In an organization with a lot of history that is a monumental task and they had dug deep to do it well. 

Most boards would simply approve the finished document and move on to the next item on the agenda. But most boards don’t have a lead staff person who believes in the power of celebration.

Scott surprised the board with a cake decorated with the words “We Did It!” and a few excerpts from the complete document on top (picture above). It didn’t take a lot of time or money but it sent a powerful message of appreciation and success to the volunteers who make up the board.

It capped off a significant accomplishment with a brief and memorable moment of joy.

That’s a win!

What’s one creative way you have (or can) celebrate an accomplishment in your organization this week?