Dan Cardone is the Athletic Director at North Hills High School. Shortly after the tragedy in Haiti, he felt compelled to find a way to help those in need locally in his community of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He focused his initiative on the concept of showing appreciation for others.
This initiative; know as Good Deeds on Game Day is being carried out by his coaches players and parents at North Hills High School. He states that the good deeds are meant to make our coaches, players, and fans pause.For them to be thankful for the great things provided by high school athletics.
Imagine the impact this simple concept could have on an organization, on YOUR organization. In a time when employee engagement is at an all-time low and complaining has expanded beyond just water cooler conversations, Good Deeds on Work Days could be a game changer for you and your team.
Cardone’s Five Good Deeds are as follows:
1.Thank Someone: Cardone’s example is of athletes thanking the bus driver who safely takes them to and from school. Who is the unsung hero of your company you need to thank? CEO’s: Is it your personal driver who transports you to and from appointments on time? Sales reps: Is it the truck driver who ensures your customer receives their order prior to the deadline? The coach in me echoes Cardone’s sentiment of why not thank the competition? If it weren’t for them you might not have performed to the best of your abilities or worked as hard. Thank your teammates in the office...it doesn’t cost anything.
2.Clean Up After Yourself: The culture has become such that the athletes clean up the locker room at home and on the road. The fans do not leave garbage in the stands at North Hills. Beyond respecting the custodial staff, think of what this simple act of cleaning up around your workplace does for image of your company.
3. Pick Someone Up: Literally and figuratively. Cardone’s athletes will help up an opposing player after they fall on the field. He also has encouraged his coaches to support players after a poor performance or a tough loss. How do you pick up others in the workplace? Do you genuinely try and pick up your coworker when you find out she didn’t land the contract after her big presentation or do you just say, “ah, shake it off , you’ll get the next one Suzie.” If you want to be viewed as the G-T-G (go-to-guy or go-to-gal) in your organization be the one person your colleagues want to go see when they need a lift, not the person who is only available when things are going well.
4. Compliment Someone: Dan Cardone’s coaches are encouraged to go into the other team’s locker room and compliment them on a win (how many coaches outside of N. Allegheny County, PA do you think EVER do that). This sends a loud, clear message of class and sportsmanship to everyone. What kind of message are you sending? Internally and externally? Is it a loud, clear message of class and businessman-ship? Try congratulating a competitor when they beat you to market with a product or when another sales rep gets the order you thought you had in the bag. It lets them know you are a sportsman in business and view them as a worthy adversary. Take the high road….there is usually less traffic!
5. Be Better Than Everyone Else: At North Hills they have a burning desire to be the best and do it the right way. Which according to Cardone means not operating outside the rules. This is reflected in their overall culture. 7 of the last 8 State Sportsmanship Championships reside in their trophy case, as well as the 2006 All-American Sportsmanship School award. What’s in your trophy case and how did you achieve it? Do you represent yourself, your family, and your company the right way? From 9-5 and beyond? How do you behave at business after hours? How do you represent the company when you’re on President’s Club vacations? Let this simple game plan be your guide…What do I want other people saying about me behind my back?
When I asked Dan Cardone what the biggest benefit was to Good Deeds on Game Day he immediately replied, “We are teaching kids and adults to get over themselves and get outside themselves and when you do that no good deed goes unturned.” The coach in me immediately thought to the broad reaching impact this can have not just on a team, but on a company and in a community because in the sport of business every day is game day.
(Special thanks to Dan Cardone for his interview. Dan Cardone is the Athletic Director at North Hills High School in Pittsburgh Pa.)