A Real Team
I’ve worked on a multitude of different professional teams in my lifetime. Some were good, some were so-so, and some were just flat out disappointing. One particular team that I had the privilege to be a part of, rocked in every dimension. It was at the Chamber of Commerce (Moab) when I was first starting out in the business world, almost 23 years ago. The Chamber of Commerce at the time was located in the same complex as the local Grand County Travel Council. The Chamber owned the building. If you can imagine tourists from all walks of life, business professionals looking to relocate to the area, and local entrepreneurs seeking all forms of statistical information lining the counters and desks – that is where you would find me. Phones ringing off the wall, a million questions coming at you, and staff running around trying to get literature out to the visiting masses. That was my world.
There were a number of things we as a team had memorized by heart, the brochures, and all the local attractions:
- The restrooms are located around back and just across the bridge over the small dry creek
- Please don’t forget your sunscreen and take plenty of water
- When asked where the Arch was, we would go into a 2-minute informative speech about Arches National Park, and the many Arches contained inside the park
- Yes the Chamber board is made up of elected local business owners and concerned private citizens
- Economic development packets are available at our office or downtown at the County office
- The film commission does not have an office in our building. Yes we have a brochure for that too
- The pool, movie theater, bike repair, and where to eat were all hot topics
As you entered the Chamber of Commerce/Travel Council building, there was a small room off to the left as you first walked in. Housed in this room were tons of brochures and flyers on the local city and recreational areas. An overhead TV played continually the lengthy jingles from the ads that helped to teleport visitors minds to the great attractions that lay before them. Often sunburned and chapped lipped youngest just off a river or jeeping excursion would run to and fro before exhausted parents could gather them up in an attempt to quiet them down.
Our miracle gals behind the front counter were Jacque, Melissa, and Annie. One
of them would burst out with the candy jar and take that heavy parental load off the parents; making little frowns turn into smiles as the children would gladly take the candy and whatever paraphilia was given to them. Stickers and pens, key chains and other free swag kept the kids at bay, while mom and pop looked over the brochures, planning their next family adventure.
Tucked away in the back were Judith and Rene. They were always working steadily on the next travel council brochures and upcoming travel events. They were designing some of the first displays for their overseas trips to sell the world on the idea of the Grand Circle tour ( Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches,Canyonlands and Grand Canyon national parks).
Val and I had desks next to each other out in the open for the world to find us. She could be found busy entering all the travel information requests and filling out forms and making labels for all the seasonal guiding companies who came in weekly for marketing information. I would be planning Chamber events and dealing with the business community concerns; or planning parades and Chamber luncheons, and making my own packets for relocation and small business development.
Five o’clock was a good time. We did things together. We celebrated each other’s life moments. We had Saturday coffee down the river road, or gathered at someone’s house for a team get together. We all knew our rank in the organization, it was team member. Sure we all had titles, but friend was the best one.
So many organizations have lost the title of team and friend. Those titles have been replaced with negative titles that strip the humanity from a person, and leave an empty soul in its place.
Being part of a team means
- You get up and help the gals or guys behind the counter when she or he is swamped with customers
- You grab the Chamber or Travel phone and ask for a number and get a call back
- You help your team mate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing
- You gently bring out the fire extinguisher when you light your best friends 30th birthday cake at 7:30 in the morning
- You lock up when others can’t
- You open the building up with a smile on your face and you do it all over again with each other helping along the way
- Being a part of a team and helping to meet goals and deadlines. Just getting to the bank or the post office can be difficult. Your team helps you with even these small steps
- Group hugs – priceless
Watching a team member move away, or move on to bigger adventures is bitter sweet. But we celebrated each other’s success and we acknowledged the fact that they were a part of who we are today – because they were in our lives. It is true I have worked on other great teams, but you never forget your first one.
A team can be a complex unit of individuals helping each other to research and discover new things. A team can also be a group of like minded kind people just doing what they do every day. Simple or complex - celebrate! Celebrate each other in your lives.