Recently we spent some time in team training at our own Gettysburg Experience. We welcomed Ed Franzone to the team (A privilege to have you on board with us, Ed!) and did some facilitator brush up training over 2 days. It was a rainy week, but the low clouds and mist were still beautiful, even haunting, on the battlefield.
We scrimmaged our way through the program, taking turns at playing the facilitator or participant all the while dialoging as a team on the leadership concepts we use in client training sessions. It was a refreshing and challenging experience. Learning new facilitation skills, brushing up on old concepts and putting the concepts into the framework of our new reality: Experience to Lead.
Standing on the top of Cemetery Hill discussing Ewell’s critical moment and leadership capabilities we crossed into the discussion of strategic intent. Among other challenges, Ewell faced an issue of a lacking clarity of intent from his manager. As we reflected we realized that our intent IS clear and we have been ACTING according to our intent! It was a rejuvenating moment of reflection on our small success: sticking to our guns (pun intended).
After we spun off from The Conference Board in May this year, we spent two days working through a number of key questions, top of the list: defining our mission. We determined that our mission is:
“To provide unique experiences that improve the leadership of individuals, teams, and organizations.”
Since then we’ve had numerous opportunities come our way from new and returning clients. The scariest question when you have a new sales opportunity is “do we want this business?” Many a sales person has been known to say, emphatically, “why are you even asking that question!?” But the thoughtful sales person and business owner pauses and leans in on this question.
Most sales opportunities are easy answers. Our clients pursue partnership with us for our core skills: experiential learning, leadership development, unique and powerful programming. Some, though, have not been as straightforward: a request to create a traditional leadership conference. Well…we have delivered experiential modules at conferences and we have provided our experts as speakers at various engagements so we could deliver on the request…to a degree. But would it be true to our core business? True to our mission?
Tough to say no. But we are not all things to all clients. We are not a speakers’ bureau and we are not conference planners.
On the other hand, we’ve seen questionable opportunities flourish and reveal themselves as an extension of ourselves that we had not yet considered. Great events resulted from these “yes” instances. More on that another day…
So, we stuck to our guns and won this instance of mission vs. sales opportunity battle (with no casualties to boot!). We stayed the course to focus on our core business and capabilities. I hope we win next time too. But, I also hope we say yes to the right opportunities for growth as well. So, bring on the ideas! We’re ready to do battle.
See what we’re up to with our latest program.