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Enthusiasm – the Cause & the Effect

Members of the Pickle Squad at Methodist Hospital


In a recent newsletter Seth Godin asked this question: If you go a baseball game and have a great time, were you enthusiastic because it was a great game, or was it a great game because you were enthusiastic?

We’ve helped more than a hundred different organizations launch The Pickle Challenge for Charity, and we’ve seen the whole range of results.

We’ve seen it drop like a lead balloon because the cynics and pickle-suckers roll their eyes, call it silly, and accuse coworkers of having “drunk the Kool Aid” (one of the most horrific metaphors imaginable to describe someone who is trying to improve their organization and improve their life).

And we have seen the challenge be a great source of fun and joy, raise money for an important cause when people turn complaints into contributions, and have a positive impact on the culture of the organization.

The difference is never the challenge itself (the game). It is always the enthusiasm that people bring to the challenge – to the game.

Methodist Hospital in San Antonio is taking The Pickle Challenge right now – and they are taking it to a new level. This month they have had a pickle jar decorating contest, pickle parades, a pickle bake-off contest, and yesterday a pickle basket silent auction. These activities have all been organized by their Pickle Squad – enthusiastic volunteers who want to help foster a more positive and enthusiastic culture.

The hospital’s goal is to raise more than $5,000 for the HCA Hope Fund by turning 20,000+ complaints into 25-cent contributions. They will hit that target – and Values Coach will kick in a partial matching donation.

What has created an out-of-the-park success story at Methodist Hospital is not the challenge itself. It’s the enthusiasm of CNO Jane McCurley, Pickle Squad Team Leader Chrissy Womble, and the hundreds of people who have added their own enthusiastic touches to the decorated pickle jars, pickle baskets, pickle delicacies, and pickle costumes that are making this a memorable event.

This is one of the guiding insights of our work at Values Coach: Culture does not change unless and until people change. One of the most vital leadership challenges is to inspire enthusiasm for that change.

As the great American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. That is why it is included as one of the 12 fundamental values in our course on The Twelve Core Action Values.

Download our brochure at the Values Coach website then give us a call at 319-624-3889 to see how we can help you help your people.

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