In my Vistage meeting a few months ago, a fellow CEO spoke about his theme for the year.  The idea resonated with me, so I spent some time thinking about what “theme” would support Mackey Advisors in reaching our goals for the year.  What I came up with is, To Gel. 

We have tons of talent and initiative.  We have great technology and systems.  It seemed to me that the only possible roadblock to achieving our goals was to move from being a group of fantastic individuals to a high performing team. Thus the theme, To Gel.

I kicked off the campaign by purchasing a package of Jell-O for every person in the office.  It was Valentine’s Day and I arrived early and put all the packages of Jell-O out on the conference room table, so people would see them when they came in for the Monday team huddle. 

To make it fun, I decided to make it a participative opportunity.  So I announced the theme, To Gel, and went on to explain that each week we were going to explore the question, what does Jell-O have to do with a high performing team?

When it was your turn, you would give us your ideas on how Jell-O modeled a high performing team and you would make a package of Jell-O.  Not only did we learn a lot about high performing teams, we also learned a lot about each other. The insights were great and it was fun! 

Here is quick rundown of the lessons we learned from Jell-O:

  • Mackey:  Commitment: Jell-O is committed to sticking together and hanging onto its shape.
  • Grace:  Structure is required; Jell-O needs structure to give it shape just like we need policies and   procedures to let us do our work more easily and efficiently.
  • Tom:  Team mentality; Jell-O sticks together to hold its shape.
  • Andy:  Resilience; Jell-O bounces back.
  • Natalie:  Be more than just Jell-O, be unique; you can use Jell-O in many ways to create different things, just like we are not just accountants.
  • Justin: There’s something for everyone; we don’t offer just one service like Jell-O doesn’t come in just one flavor.
  • Laura:  Consistency based on manuals; anyone can make Jell-O if they follow the directions, just like our manual allows anyone in the office to work on any of the different projects because we know exactly what needs to be done by having directions.
  • Caroline: Marketing and branding; not everyone likes Jell-O but through their excellent marketing and branding they can have many different types of products all associated with the brand name, just like we have many different services under our name.
  • Julie: be a star; Jell-O takes something ordinary and allows it to be shaped into a star just like we can take someone ordinary and help them to become a star in their own life.

Who knew Jell-O had so much to teach us at work? 

May you find the theme to rally your troops and achieve your 2011 goals.As always, we are here to serve you in expanding and growing your wealth and prosperity.  Please let us know if we can help.