When I was a freshman here at Central Michigan University I had to decide which LEAD Team I wanted to be apart of. There were so many to choose from and I had no idea which one I wanted to put my time and effort into as all of them intrigued me. Then I came across the Relay for Life Lead Team and I knew that was the one I wanted to be apart of because I helped organize countless Relay for Life events when I was in high school. My grandmother had also died from cancer two years prior so it made my decision even more worthwhile.
During the course of the year we planned events in order to donate money toward the Relay for Life fund. The event we organized was a scripted dinner that was a dinner but the people at the table were actually part of a scripted event. The dinner was a huge success! Then along came the Relay for Life event which we were planning all year long. There were quite a few teams there and every team had a countless number of people. So in the end the Relay for Life event was another huge success for the University.
I loved every second of being on the Relay for Life LEAD Team my freshman year that I decided to stay on that LEAD Team for my Sophomore year. Once again that year was a huge success for the University! I will never forget the time I spent planning for the event with the rest of the team and seeing what an impact it made on everyone in the community.
When John Bacon first walked into the room I didn’t know what he was going to talk about or even if it was going to be entertaining, but when he started to talk he talked with so much passion and so much enthusiasm that I gave him my utmost attention. His stories of Bo Schembechler from when he was a ten year old boy to working with him on his bestseller book were so descriptive it felt like I was there. His passion was so great when he talked about his four C’s of leadership and Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership.
Character: Mr. Bacon could have spent all day talking about character. His stories, his examples, and his intelligence were just amazing. He started off by saying “Be Yourself.” You cannot fool anyone in this world about who you truly are. You are only fooling yourself. He gave us an example of when he was a head coach for a college hockey team. He said, “People you may coach will know you better then you know yourself by the end of the season.” He went on the talk about when he was a ten year old boy and met Bo for the first time in his life. He was so excited at first, but when he saw him, he lost all of his nerve to ask for his autograph. Bo came up to him though and signed his pamphlet for John. What John noticed though throughout his life is that every single autograph Bo signed ,which was close to a 1,000,000, was the same. It wasn’t a scribble either. You could read it when you looked at. John went on to say, “Your character is what you do when you think no one is watching.”
Concern: The first thing he did when he got into our classroom was he asked one of us our names. He repeated it a couple of times and went on with his presentation. Later in the presentation he when he was talking about concern he pointed out the person he asked what their name was and said their name. He remembered it the whole time he was speaking. “Listen before you lead,” is what John said after he repeated their name, “You cannot motivate people if you don’t know them.” A person has to know who he is leading before he can lead because if not then the group is unmotivated to follow or even listen. So be concerned with who you are leading and where they came from.
Communication: When Mr. Bacon started talking about communication he started with saying, “If you have a problem with something or someone either talk in private or shut up.” He doesn’t like when people want to complain about things and not talk to the person they are complaining about. He later went on to talk about taking credit for other people’s accomplishments. He said, “The second you take credit for the team is the second you lose their trust and respect.” “We don’t have to worry about people talking to us and coming to us with their problems, but the second people stop coming to you is the second you stop becoming a leader.” By this he meant that when people stop coming to us with their problems and ideas is when you stop becoming a leader. Don’t lose the people around you. Stay in contact because as soon as they stop talking to you is when they stop caring about you.
Caring: John said, “I know what you guys were thinking when I walked in. You were thinking oh dang here is another speaker going to talk to us about leadership, but will be more interested in what time it was or how long they had left then actually talking about leadership.” He said, “You can tell within five minutes if the presentation is about you or them.” When you speak to a group be enthused and be energetic. People don’t want to listen to someone who is boring and doesn’t know what they are talking about. “Bring more energy then the people you are speaking to.”