What Has Been Done? What Could Be? What Should Be?
- By knowing What Had Been Done, insight is gained as to options for the future. What was working? What was not? By knowing the present and past history, the likelihood of making the same mistake twice is reduced, and if something has worked, it is time to built upon the fact – and not reinvent the wheel.
- By knowing What Could Be Done careful consideration can be given to all options suggested by history, the insights of others, the leader’s insights.
- By knowing What Should Be Done the challenge becomes matching the best option to the desired result. There comes a time when the leader must choose and act! It is necessary to make timely decisions so other people will not be unnecessarily delayed in their action. The only reason to delay any decision is if, by delaying a decision, additional information will likely be received which can alter the final decision.
Steps one and two above are necessary if those affected are to feel ownership in the final decision. When ownership is part of the process, the ease of change is greatly increased.
It was not difficult for me to do the above prior to the beginning of camp. From January to May, as I traveled about the North East talking with former staff and members of the Deerfoot Board of Directors, there were hours to consider what had been done, the suggested options, and what were likely to be best one or two options of what should be done.
It was more difficult for the returning staff to reconsider almost everything about camp. It was “their Lodge”. They pretty much liked DL the way it was, or they would not have returned, some of them for 10 summers. During staff training, staff input was continual, options often needed to be considered quickly, and decisions were made so the results could be implemented during staff training or when camp began. With almost every decision I would also say that we would stick with my decision only until I had received information that indicated it was time to change the previous decision.
It must have been incredibly difficult for Dave (25 summers at DL) and Elaine (17 summers) Naysmith, Dean (20 summers) and Lee (6 summers) Dover, and Jim and Sherri Van Buren to return to DL with open minds. These experienced Deerfooters returned to provide the quality leadership needed, particularly during my first summer. The Van Burens returned for only one summer, but “Grundy” (Jim) knew the flex time, all camp, sectional, and cabin activities better then anyone else, and he brought contagious enthusiasm! These six people were able to clearly tell me what had been done in every area of camp, and able to make very constructive suggestions, particularly in the areas of program and food service. Each person knew I needed their wisdom if DL was going to survive this transition summer.