The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

The Lessons of Hindsight for Ownership and Commitment

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, July 08, 2019
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Many years ago, I was asked to chair the annual conference for 2000 of my peers…a four-day conference no less. Trust me, there’s tons of bad karma if you screw up. And a volunteer role no less.

Some angel must have been whispering in my ear to guide me in the process, as I can’t say I knew exactly what would create ownership and commitment in my team.  But at the end of the four-days, people were saying it was the best conference they had attended. People who were going to drop out of the national association said they finally felt part of the community and would stay.Here is what I learned:

1.  Select team members who are committed to a shared vision and not a personal agenda. I had people who wanted to be on my team but really only wanted to be on the main stage. The individuals on my team signed a document that stated they understood their responsibilities and what it meant to support each other. We gathered and talked about this.

2.  Every team member had a part in creating our ‘vision” for the conference.  While the theme had been set by the president, we gathered and everyone had their input into what it meant for them and what would capture both their head and their heart.

3.  Team members selected those areas that best suited their interests and skills.

4.  We celebrated every milestone as a team… every inch of the way because a mile takes a while and an inch is a cinch.

5.  My role was to move roadblocks out of their way and to check in to see what help or insights they needed from me.

6.  We created a HUGE wall of gratitude for attendees to literally write what they were thankful for but first—my team wrote what they valued about each other and the process.

7.  I handwrote individual thank you notes to each person on the team and told them specifically what their contribution meant.

And when it was over, I fell on my knees in gratitude for what we had created together. The feedback from long-time members and first timers made our hearts sing.  That kind of impact on some 2,000 people was indeed, one of the best projects ever!


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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