Today I Zinged my remarkable. Will you do the same? Let’s make a compact that you will.
I personally think, without anything to support my belief, that Michigan coined the saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes (and it will change),” and this morning’s alternating rain, snow and sun generated a mix of emotions and attitudes among the 15 of us taking part in the Zingerman’s Customer Service Express Workshop. We, like our customers, families, and friends brought varying experiences into the training and we were there to see how we could value those differences and provide excellent customer service to anyone no matter what.
As part of this wonderful half-day training at Zingerman’s (tabbed the coolest small company in America by Inc. magazine) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we agreed to a Training Compact where our trainer agreed to 1) document clear performance expectations; 2) provide training resources; c) recognize performance; and d) reward performance. We as trainees agreed to take responsibility for the effectiveness of our training.
Being challenged – not forced – to consider our level of interest, our level of engagement, and how we would make this day a remarkable, interactive experience got me thinking.
A compact is an agreement or covenant between two or more parties, according to Merriam-Webster. Elementary students, can you remind us all of the Mayflower Compact? There’s also the Blood Compact (not for the squeamish), the United Nations Global Compact (with its own Facebook page), campus compacts, and a myriad of educational compacts. I love the term “compact” as its more formal, less-used, and yet more fun than the overused ”contract” or “agreement.” It’s also associated with remarkable, collaborative initiatives and social causes. At its core, a compact is the sharing of responsibilities.
Our training compact, a simple two-paragraph statement, challenged us with a formal yet accessible choice to be stagnant and passive or committed and active. It moved me to be intentional and present in my experience as a partner with Zingerman’s. How different is that perspective compared to simply being an inactive observer? I participated fully in the experience and absorbed the Zingerman’s way. I was more than a sponge. I engaged. I agreed to a compact. I made the day remarkable.
Our challenge is to recognize our differences, select something we value, think about how we can create a shared commitment, and — to make this a remarkable experience — to create a compact with someone else or with a group around that commitment. Anyone at any age can do this. Youth leaders, will you partner with your peers, your mentors, your teammates, or your cause? Adults, will you create a compact with your son or daughter, your mentee, your faith group, your business partner, or an agency that fights for what you are passionate about?
Sometimes, when you put yourself out in the world, remarkable opportunities present themselves. Sometimes, when you collectively engage and commit to something, the world moves. What will your remarkable compact be?
Remarkable Resources …
- Consider looking at all the definitions of “compact” at Merriam-Webster.com AND add your comment telling the world why you looked up the definitions. Add your remarkability.
- Looking for remarkable training? Check out ZingTrain. Special shout-out to Maggie Bayless, Managing Partner at Zingerman’s Training Inc. and Joanie Hales, Catering and Marketing Manager, Zingerman’s Roadhouse.
- Blogger Barry Popik referenced the “Wait five minutes…” quote as possibly attributable to Mark Twain in a 2009 posting.
- Check out the United Nations Global Compact Facebook page.
- What’s the Blood Compact? Check out Wikipedia’s entry.
- The Campus Compact is a coalition of more than 1,200 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.
- One example of an educational compact is the 1997 “A Compact for Learning.”