Cubs Win! Cubs Win!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a long time suffering Cubs fan. I fell in love with the Cubs, Wrigley Field, WGN broadcast of the games while I was doing my doctorate work at Northwestern. Because of this love affair, the on air broadcasters became part of our family conversations, Jack Brickhouse and the good kid (great memories Larry), Harry Carey and Steve Stone joined us at the kitchen table. And I discovered my favorite player Ryan Sandburg, now in the hall of fame!
All Cub fans and probably many baseball fans celebrated the Cubs victory over the St. Louis Cardinals (sorry Craig) earlier this week. And something wonderful happened. Because of the the big game, I started to hear friends m friends that I hadn’t heard from in a few years. Emails, texts, and phone calls flowed freely and often between family members. We shared moments of holding our breath to the celebration at the end of each game. One grandchild had to put on the lucky cap, another showed off his victory dance while all of us sang Steve Goodman’s Go Cubs Go.
You might wonder am I just gloating and what does this have to do with Shaeffer’s Forays.
First, please know Cub fans don’t gloat, after years of near misses we simply know better. Second, the lesson for Shaeffer’s Forays has to with leadership. One of the keys to good leadership is an ability to share and to have buy in in a vision for your organization. Everyone needs to not only understand but also strongly believe in the mission. And that is exactly what we have as Cubs Fans, we believe. Yes we’ve had our share of heartbreaks but our believe is so strong that every year we believe this could be the year.
In the same way successful organizations are sustained through the bad times through the belief in our mission. Those of us in continuing education often are sailing into the wind and we continue to do so because of our belief in our mission and the power of education.
One of the wonderful outcomes from this shared passion is the community it builds. You remember I said that I’ve heard from friends this week due to the Cubs because it was a shared experience I shared with a them. And this tie, the Cubs, then brings back fond memories and a need to reach out and again share the experience. This is what happens to our organizations when we have a shared vision, we become a community bonded by the commitment to the vision. I am at the UPCEA South conference and you see this manifested as multiple institutions join together as a community in a belief in the power of education.
Finally, no matter how things turn out with the Cubs what we’ve done is the creation of memories. Memories that again bind us together. You know, like the “Bartman” game. And we draw on these memories as we deal with ups and downs with the Cubs. And the same is true for our organizations, it is important to revisit our history to recognize what we’ve accomplished and that during the hard struggles we remember that we’ve found a way to reach the top of the mountain.
Now I have a secret to tell you, THIS IS THE YEAR! GO CUBS!