Last Friday, Klausing Group hosted our annual Equipment Rodeo. Throughout our year-long training program, we teach the finer points of standard operating procedures, horticulture, and workplace safety, but it’s at the Equipment Rodeo that we introduce our staff to landscape machinery in a safe and controlled environment.
I attended the event to greet new employees, catch up with veterans, and solicit ideas for improving the event next year. I had other motives as well. Many of my staff were surprised to see me, the owner of the company, operating a commercial walk-behind mower on the practice course. Because mowing hasn’t been a part of my job responsibilities in nearly fifteen years, some were impressed I still know how to operate a mower. I don’t remember the last time so many camera phones and video recorders were pointed at me.
Operating the mower was not only fun for me, it gave me an opportunity to show people that I came from “the field.” For many years, I came home from work filthy, covered in grass clippings and dirt. It demonstrated credibility and may have helped earn me a little respect from people who would otherwise view me only as “an owner,” “a suit,” or, as my wife calls me when she wants to get under my skin, “a pencil pusher.”
If you’re a leader in any organization, part of your role is to BE AN AMBASSADOR. That’s right. Your job is to be nice, smile, shake hands, and relate to people. Be humble and be vulnerable; especially at your organization’s events. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know or to someone who is new. Make them feel welcome. If the opportunity presents itself, participate in the activities your staff performs every day. You won’t regret it. These gestures are not forgotten and they’re far more impactful than most recognize. They contribute significantly to an organization’s culture and help build a stronger team. What are you doing to BE AN AMBASSADOR?