I’ve been a Carolina Hurricanes fan since the early 2000’s. I really got hooked on them when I attended the 2006 Stanley Cup Final where the Canes took down the Oilers for their first (and so far only) NHL Championship. It’s been a long slog being a Hurricanes fan over the last decade or so with not one playoff trip since the 2008-09 season. That is, until now.
The 2018-19 season was a truly momentous one. One of the most exciting and entertaining aspects of the season was the Storm Surge celebration after each home game win. These celebrations led commentator and fashion maven Don Cherry to call the Hurricanes “a bunch of jerks” suggesting the celebrations were unprofessional and below the NHL’s standards. The Hurricanes embraced the moniker and even created some t-shirts extolling the “Bunch of Jerks” phrase (they sold out in hours). In addition to just loving the enthusiasm and joy of the season, I learned a few things along the way, one of the most important of which was the importance of ensuring an organization has the right people in the right seats.
Over the years, the Hurricanes seemed to have some difficulty pulling together the right mix of maturity and experience plus youth and speed. They’ve had some really great players in the past, but not in the right position at the right time. I believe what made the Hurricanes so successful this year was the combination of youth and maturity, having the right people in the right seats. From young guns like 19-year-old Andrei Svechnikov to veterans like 38-year-old captain Justin Williams, this season’s Canes brought together a perfect mixture of energy and experience to truly make for a competitive team.
I’ve seen that idea firsthand in my last four years working with Angel Oak Creative. As a 50-something-year-old marketing professional, I’ve had some great experiences that I believe bring value to the team. That said, the vast majority of my colleagues are in their upper 20’s and 30’s. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from them! I believe that together we bring the right mix of experience and energy to be successful for our clients. Like the Hurricanes, we’ve found the right mix of experience and energy.
Is your nonprofit building a team that has the right people in the right seat? One of the tools we use, the GWC (Get it, Want it and Capacity to do it), is from the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). It’s a great standard to use to develop an effective team. When your nonprofit has an open seat, rather than just filling it with the first warm body or even someone who seems to be the “natural choice,” take the appropriate time needed to walk through this process with candidates. You’re more likely to have someone who can hit the ice and score for you rather than someone who falls flat.
1) Do they get the position and related expectations and goals?
2) Do they want to do the kind, scope and amount of work required to succeed?
3) Do they have the knowledge and the physical and emotional capacity to do the work?
If all the answers point to yes, then it is a good bet the candidate will shine. If not, then you are likely setting them up to fail.
As I write this, the Canes just lost to the Boston Bruins in the third round of the playoffs. But their road to the third round included an amazing comeback from two games down to the Washington Capitals in the first round and an exciting sweep of the NY Islanders in the second. While I would have loved to see the Canes lifting up the Stanley Cup again, just watching them grow and gel as a team with the right person matched to the right position this season has been truly fulfilling. They’ve helped remind me that having the right people in the right seat is critical for success.
We welcome the chance to explore if Angel Oak Creative is the right partner for your organization’s marketing needs. Feel free to reach out to us to find out how to work with us.
– David Chatham, Senior Marketing Consultant