Leave It All on the Field

“Go all in…,” “Give it your all…,” “Leave it all on the field [or floor or mat]….”    These are just a few of many, typically sports-oriented, expressions used to encourage players/participants to put 100 percent effort into their work.  They are not just prescient for sports, they are important concepts for life.

Just this week, I completed a major project to which I committed hundreds of hours, lots of late nights, dozens of phone calls and emails, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera… I oversaw the initial brainstorming for a series of community events, outlined descriptions, identified and contracted with speakers and panelists, selected venues, assisted with marketing and PR, coordinated all logistics, arranged travel, managed implementation and a host of other details too numerous to document here.  Yes, I worked with a small group of committee members, but I bore the bulk of the effort.  This was all done as a volunteer.

What?  As a volunteer?  You must be wondering… is she crazy?  Has she lost her mind?  Does she realize that these were not revenue generating endeavors?

Here’s the answer:  Yes, it was a tremendous amount of work – more than I ever expected – hours and hours and hours.  Yes, I’m exhausted and glad for a little break now that the work is complete.  Yes, I really care about the organization.  Yes, I ran the project like my business depended on it – after all, I wanted it all to be perfect and knew I was making an impression on everyone touched by the project – so, my business really did depend on it!  Yes, I would do it all again.

Key truths:  It didn’t all go down exactly as planned… but most of it did and I’m beyond proud of what we accomplished (we touched thousands of people over the course of one week).  I’m a lot smarter now that the project is finished… I learned a tremendous amount through the process.  My committee was fabulous… and we need them and more of them next year to ensure higher order success.  I’m already committed for next year and looking forward to it!

So, what does this mean for you?  You, too, should identify a cause or organization that means something to you – with other people involved who you respect, admire and like.  It will be fun, rewarding, engaging and you’ll make a lot of friends.  Plus, you’ll get to show your co-collaborators what you’re capable of.  When you do, be sure to take these tips into consideration:

  1. Go all in! Commit to a set of responsibilities – big or small – and perform them to the very, very best of your ability.  If you know you only have a discrete number of hours, offer them up, but don’t over commit – once you say you’re going to do something, be sure you have the capacity to do it.
  2. Give it your all! Allow your peers, vendors, the organization’s leadership and the recipients of the effort to see your skills shine through – though you’re not being paid for the work, your inputs are being noticed.
  3. Leave it all on the field. Put in 100 percent effort as if you were being paid the big bucks to perform the tasks.  If it is important to you, don’t shirk your responsibilities.  Show ‘em what you’re made of.  When it does come time to hire someone for a position requiring the types of leadership, skills, know-how and experience you demonstrated through this volunteer effort, your name will be at the top of the list.

Are you already doing this in some way, shape or form in your own life?  Have you had an experience that proved these ideas true?  Please take a moment to share your experiences with the CLC Community at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.

One thought on “Leave It All on the Field

  1. Alana,

    You did a fantastic job. I know it’s a cause that’s near and dear to your heart and I know you threw a lot of yourself into it…because that’s what you do…that’s what AWESOME looks like. Congratulations on a successful week of events…you and others really made a difference in the world this past week.

    Your post reminded me of how many times I’ve talked to Missy about organizations and associations who rely on volunteers to plan their meetings and events…as you know, it’s a tremendous amount of work…and oftentimes volunteers are learning on the fly. I guess now you have an even better appreciation why meeting planning is consistently one of the top 10 most stressful occupations! ha, ha

    Congratulations again for a job well done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *