The Camp Director

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Camp is Like Saturday Night Live: Shipping is Built-in But There Are Lizard Brains in Both

April 14th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Linchpin

This post is part of a digital book club of summer camp directors and recreation professionals reading Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. To see all the posts in the series go to our linchpin start page. You are welcome to join in at any time.

Week 5: March 29th – April 4th
The Resistance – part 1 Pages 101-123

Camp is Like Saturday Night Live: Shipping is Built In

In listening to this section of Linchpin, I was struck by the statement “Artist Ship.” Seth Godin spent a number of pages talking about artists, writers, creators, project managers, etc. and the challenges they face when completing projects that involve a large number of people, deadlines, and ship dates. He said Saturday Night Live is a show that has shipping built-in; it is going live regardless of who still wants to make changes to an episode. That may be very different from what you a have experienced with redesigning your website or your summer camp brochure. How many of you have had those dates pushed back because of last minute changes or too many cooks in the kitchen? Camp is like Saturday Night Live: shipping is built-in and not shipping is not an option. Kids are coming whether you’re ready or not.

What is the Lizard Brain Keeping You From Doing?
A second theme in this section was the introduction to the lizard brain as the source of the resistance and the opposing Daemon or the genius inside each of us. Seth Godin described our work as letting your genius do its thing while keeping the lizard brain out of the way. It forced me to consider what my lizard brain keeps me from doing at camp.

When I think of the tasks I avoid most at camp, they often revolve around mediating staff relationship issues. I don’t tend to procrastinate on supervision issues that are related to safety, timeliness, or policy infractions. Those I may even jump in too quickly. Those are easy since infractions are fairly straightforward. What bogs me down is relationship issues. You know . . . when two key administration staff are not getting along because of a communication conflict. I just want people to do their job and solve their own problems. As we all know, not dealing immediately with negative staff relationship issues can be the most damaging to your camp and its culture. That is when my lizard brain kicks in and tells me that if I don’t get involved the issue may resolve itself. Perhaps it is also the fear of getting involved in being unable to solve the problem sense the wildcards are the people involved. Relationships are messy and growth involves pruning. Knowing that, I’m very aware of the resistance and use it as a reminder to take swift action rather than to procrastinate. It has taken me years to build up those skills action oriented and yet I still don’t execute as quickly 100% of the time.

What is your lizard brain and the resistance keeping you from doing? Is there something you are currently avoiding? Confess here and let us help you overcome the resistance.

“The road to comfort is crowded and rarely gets you there. Discomfort brings engagement and change.” Seth Godin

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