AORE Association News September 2016 - Page 15


As I write this article, I realize how little time we have in a day. Making use of this precious time is important. Walt Disney once said “Whatever you do, do it well.” If we take the time to be present and do a few things extraordinarily, then we will have the quality that we are striving for in and out of work. This serves as a great reminder to focus on the reasons why we are in the positions we choose to be in, and why we love it so much.

I chose the outdoor profession to spend time developing the holistic person. Although this value is often thought of as the core of our profession, it is often the one that gets overlooked. It is easy to get caught up in our day to day business and administrative duties, but it is imperative to carve out specific time to spend with our employees and patrons. Being mindful of this interpersonal connection will only make our jobs more enjoyable. It improves morale, creates a team atmosphere, and develops stronger leaders and citizens.

Providing training to our employees is necessary for operations, but actually taking the time to learn from them and connect with them on a deeper level may be even more important. Matthew Lieberman’s research from his book Social shows that childrens’ learning improves when they learn in order to teach someone else rather than learning in order to take a test. This needs to be reflected in what we do. Instead of teaching the next skill or lesson at work, give someone the tools to learn it and teach it to you and others. You will most likely learn a new pedagogical tool or an alternate way to present information you already possess. It is easy to present what we already know, but pushing ourselves to empower others to learn and teach it themselves will go a long way in developing our staff and improving our programs.

We often find ourselves thinking about the next trail or adventure when we are not even done with the one we are on. A student once told me that he loves coming back, looking at pictures of the trip, and talking to friends about his adventure because it makes him feel like the trip was so much longer and his experience was so much greater. Outdoor professionals love to reflect, meet, and figure out how to improve services, but closing the feedback loop is something everyone can refine. Picture parties may be a thing of the past, but when was the last time you sat down and talked to one of your employees to ask them how their day was, or how their family is? These connections enhance our working relationships and allow us to get to know each person in order to develop them at work.

We don't always need to be leading the meetings or leading the bike trips. I challenge us all to ask questions, learn from others, and connect with people on a personal level. This ability to share knowledge with each other and grow as a team is where the power of performance happens. We can’t underestimate the potential of the mundane and simple moments. Get connected, stay present in these interactions, and whatever you do, do it well.

In the case of the IAE2016 expedition, an international group of 140+ people from 30 countries came together to experience the majesty, magnificence, and fragility of the only place on Earth that is outside the bounds of governmental control or interests...for now. Currently Antarctica is protected from such entities by the Antarctic Treaty that states no country can claim or have ownership of any aspect of the continent, protecting it from mining, drilling, or exploitation.

Despite this protection, we all are doing things that are greatly affecting our southernmost continent and our expedition provided an opportunity for all to experience the place, create discussion, and for everyone to come back with plans to make a difference through positivity and sharing what we can do to protect our interests by using Antarctica as an example of a resource we all cannot allow to disappear. (continued on p 14)

Whatever You Do, Do It Well

By Scott Dirksen, Presenter Relations Committee Chair