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Do These Students Outshine Your Employees?

February 29, 2016


I had the opportunity through the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce to work with some amazing students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida this month.

It was such an honor to work with these incredible young men and women in preparation for their upcoming DECA State Competition.

My role provided students the opportunity to practice and gain feedback to prepare them for the actual competition. Well, hopefully, I did that, but they also left me with a great impression and lesson to share. You see, it was evident to me that these students were engaged and prepared to win the upcoming competition, but I saw much more.   Here was my first impression working with this team.

 1.  They approached me expeditiously and welcomed me within 20 seconds of entering the room.

 2.  They briefed me well and kept me updated on progress and changes to the evenings events.

3. They were well groomed, and carried themselves as positive and accomplished professionals.

4.  And, they thanked me for my efforts.

You may think ‘no big deal’; they should do that. However, the super juice was that it was the students (not the staff) I am writing of, and the efforts were extremely

.Sincere, and
.Truly from the heart

These kids have clearly had some great leadership guiding them. The impression they made is not accidental. And yes the staff was there and doing a great (fabulous) job. However, this event was not micro managed.

Often at such events staff and parents over stressed doing most of the greeting and such. Not here! They taught and then empowered the students. Skills so essential for success.

Oh, and one more thing… as I was walking to my car, I got totally turned around (AKA LOST!) trying to figure out which of the three parking lots my car was parked. A very kind woman from the janitorial staff drove me to the exit, then waited to be sure I found my car before going back to her duties.

From the students to the teachers and the janitorial staff the message was clear. A great team, great culture, a great experience.

This type of leadership for our children is so critical to their success.  I have terminated highly degreed managers on a couple of occasions and replaced them with high school graduates.  Why?  Because they lacked the professionalism, courtesy, drive, manners and/or caring disposition that I expected for my team. If we want it ALL for our children and extraordinary service from our workforce learn from what these DECA students demonstrated.

I know, what these young men and women did seems so simple, so EXPECTED, but does it really happen that way in your business?  Step back tomorrow and watch, listen, and then adjust! My guess is that these students outshine many.

Do your leadership, your culture, and positive attitude shine through like that of the excellent staff and students at Stoneman Douglas High?

Parone Group can provide your team with the juice that makes your customers and guests sing your song.

Call us at 954-464-6689.