Monday, April 9, 2012

The Buddy System

When I was young, I went to a lot of summer camp. Some were day camps and others were overnight camps. No matter what kind, one of my most favorite activities was going swimming. I was born with a love for water.

When ever we went to the pool at camp, we had to find a buddy. Once we were swimming, we always had to know where our buddy was in the pool. Routinely the life guards would blow their whistles and yell “Buddy Check!”

Then, we would stop what ever we were doing and find our buddy. Once we were standing next to each other, we would clasp hands and rise them up in the air, shouting “Here!” After all the buddies had checked in, the life guards would blow their whistles and shout “All clear; time to swim.” And then we dived back into the water.

Right now, given the complexities of this economy, I wish the life guards would blow their whistles and call for a “Buddy Check!” Then, leaders, young and old around this globe, would pause, find their buddies and check in.

Given the dynamic pace of change, we also need to expand our buddy systems to include more people. We need people who support us unconditionally and people who will give us sound advice and counsel. We need more colleagues who look out for each other and more colleagues who are willing to share at a deeper level. I know this will not happen overnight, but I also know this is a powerful resource when dealing with change.

This spring I recommend everyone go out and make new friends within and outside of their organizations. I will be doing this on Thursday and Friday of this week at the Spring 2012 From Vision to Action Executive Roundtable. If you have the time and energy, I hope you will join me there. I may even bring a whistle and call out “Buddy Check!” in the middle of it.

Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257

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