Message from the President
Every month our President writes an article for the benefit of the Chamber.
As I was running some errands, I noticed a flagger yelling at a car that had disobeyed traffic and made a turn when not permitted. I felt badly for the flagger, and the position he must be in to try and keep things safe while some decide that they are above the law or on a different playing field altogether. Next time, I'll turn more carefully! Yes, it happened to be my car that he was yelling at. . .Which leads me into the leadership principle for this month from Dennis Perkins' book, Leading at the Edge,
"Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect."
Ernest Shackleton wasn't a graduate of the Royal Navy like so many of his peers; he was brought up on merchant ships literally working his way up. One of his key traits was his ability to befriend anyone, regardless of their position or rank. Even when their ship was stuck in the ice and 'swabbing the deck' became one of the routine chores, he led by example and took his turn, showing to all of the crew, that they were all in this together, and just because he was the expedition leader, didn't mean he was too good or too lofty to do the same type of chores. Ranks within the military have their place, who would want to wander into battle with an entire team of new recruits. However, in the business world, the more leaders try and separate themselves from other levels of labor, the more it breaks apart the team or group. In my position in the hospitality industry, my job description includes all of the jobs that happen at a hotel, and sometimes, I'm forced to fill in for that person. Luckily for the other employees and our guests, this doesn't happen very often, because my skill level at some tasks is not anywhere near their skill level. I must say that I have a much deeper appreciation for all of the employees at the hotel after I have tried to perform their tasks for a few hours.
One of the best examples from Shackleton leading his crew by example came about when they were leaving the ship to undertake their voyage across the ice with lifeboats and were dividing up sleeping bags. There were two choices; the warmer, more comfortable reindeer hide bags, or the simple heavy weight wool sleeping bags. As there weren't enough reindeer bags for everyone, Shackleton proposed a lottery, and to show his commitment to the crew, didn't submit his name into the lottery, and settled for a wool bag.
While we're not suffering the intense cold and ice that they faced—although some may disagree with our "Spring" weather—we are facing daily tasks that are challenging and difficult. As leaders in our communities, I hope we will embrace the opportunity to lead by example and not be afraid to 'walk in someone's shoes' for an hour or two to really increase team spirit and togetherness. And if we show common courtesy to everyone—even under stressful construction conditions—we show to them that we respect them and appreciate their contributions.
Ihad the privilege of attending the Idaho Convention for Recreation and Tourism last month held at the Doubletree convention center in Boise. Many new wonderful programs were discussed and introduced as a way to increase our outdoor recreation—both for locals and tourists. One of the programs that will be coming online soon will be the product of the Forest Service and BLM working together to unify and update the mapping of our off-road trails and pathways—both motorized and non-motorized. What a great opportunity to have an up-to-date map that will look the same no mater which county or city you may ride, thus helping landowners, ranchers, and recreationists all be on the same page.