Pickleball! Are you addicted? My client, colleague and friend, Lisa Hurda is FULL In – like over the top passionate about Pickleball. Lisa is the Director of Advancement and Foundation for Blackhawk Technical College. She convinced me Pickleball mirrors many of the skills you need for success in major gift fundraising work. We tested this theory at the CASE Conference for Community Colleges last week in Palm Springs (where she also got in a Pickleball game or two). It was fun and I believe we shared some valuable major giving nuggets within a lively orientation to pickleball! You can see some of the feedback we received below.
Both the Conference formal sessions and conversations in the hallways embraced a familiar topic – maximizing teamwork to get the best synergies for success. Sounds like a noble goal, right? Sadly I heard the words like “toxic,” “dysfunctional, and “siloed” with folks frustrated with others who didn’t do their jobs well enough, fast enough, like THEY would or with the same dedication and focus (passion).
The President doesn’t get development. The development shop is demanding and hard to work with. Athletics goes off on its own. People operate in silos. There are too many events (or too few). The marketing team doesn’t meet deadline or use our ideas. Managing these relationships often includes well-meaning actions to force the desired result – some thinly veiled as being “helpful,” “supportive” and just “sharing best practices.”
Being a productive Squeaky Wheel.
As the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets oiled.’ Meaning that the squeaking will drive you nuts so you fix it! Or oil it. Here’s how it can be more productive for all involved.
Challenge: You believe you can do it better so you “share ideas”
Especially considering that many of us wear or have worn multiple hats, we probably know how to do a bit of everything. Event management, marketing, annual fund, donor relations, planning, major gifts, and so on. Some of us may even fancy our selves better or gifted or have a natural strength in…a certain area.
Solution: Stay in your lane.
Challenge. You love doing something other than your main work.
You seek out trainings in your interest or comfort area and go to sessions at conferences that are about what YOU like to do – not what you should be focusing on to better do YOUR job. Then, you share what you learn back with the person who so does want to hear from you feeling like the helpful colleague. You are not.
Solution: Focus on your OWN improvement – believe me, you can do YOUR job better.
Here’s my point – maybe all your squeaking gets you some oil – but at what price? A reputation of needing everything YOUR way? A label that you are difficult to work with? Hurting others feelings with your thinly veiled criticism?
Enter David Suson – Keynote speaker Day 2. His message was to boost your personal power. He shared we all had a moment in our lives we felt gave us a truth about ourselves – a strength. We are smart, right, nice, reliable, etc. When others make us feel like this strength is being challenged, we react – and not well.
He described tips to build personal power including:
1. Value others – this is feeling THEM walking in THEIR shoes (not you walking in their shoes)
2. Being Decisive – no one wants to follow a wishy-washy leader.
3. Getting Fearless – you gain confidence when you lose fear.
He created six phrases to repeat out loud twice daily forever. (And you know I am ALL about this sort of mindset work!)
I Am Confident
I am Decisive
I am Fearless
Be THEM in THEIR shoes
Look for the Good
There’s always a way
He put these on a band I will wear, and use, speaking these lessons night and morning as he suggests. This feels old and new to me and I’d encourage you all to check it out. Again that’s David Suson, https://davidsuson.com/ Those of you who coach with me know I am always sharing resources I feel will help you. I have my band, I’ll be getting more bands and David’s work will creep into mine.
So stop being a squeaky wheel seeking oil and instead start working on your personal power becoming a true friend and support to those in your life. Good stuff.
Invest in JOY®