“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
― Seth Godin,
The Why Has Changed
I believe that I crossed an important threshold in my journey. In another time it would have been called a vision quest or another poetic name.
I have reached a milestone that was far greater in scope than I could have possibly imagined.
The journey began as a simple ice maker and grew, tendrils spreading into unknown fearful parts, exploring, gaining the courage to try new things. I learned ice making from my father, I learned how to serve a tribe from a man named Doug Geddie.
Doug has served his various tribes in many capacities, but where I have become aware of his enormous influence has been as the leader of a host committee. On the curling side of the club, Doug has facilitated multiple provincial and national events and worked tirelessly.
I Got A Guy
He is the quintessential go-to guy for getting the job done.
You would never have guessed that he is also a championship long distance marathon runner. Doug understands the meaning of tribe.
Doug Geddie has been a role model and mentor in my own transition. He has opened doors of opportunity that have led to valuable hands-on experience, not just book learning from Podcasts.
I remember clearly when I approached Doug in the member’s lounge at the club.
In my mind, I knew that the Heart Stop Lounge was going to cover the floor of the curling rink which would put regular league play on hold for the month of February.
Part of it was naivety, part ignorance when I asked to “job shadow” Doug during the event with all my “free time.” What I thought this meant was that I was going to follow him around learn a couple of tricks with little or no responsibility.
The Paper Trail
Doug sat me down in “the comfort” of a vice chair position. This is where I learned what an “org chart” meant. On paper, could identify where I was in the process.
It looked like I would be a cog in the wheels, but a chart does not prove what you are. Authority and influence come from experience, not a paper trail.
It’s hard to imagine the conversation in the room prior to Doug’s team working out the details. Doug had assembled the current club president Keith Shaver, and Jeff Germond, the General Manager of our club at the time.
Would I have chosen me?
I don’t know.
I told Calissa last night that I am so glad I didn’t back out at any point in this marathon. There were a few times I wanted to quit.
Call it a journey to get to know a tribe. It started as learning how a membership works in a typical country club setting. Later the knowledge spread.
The Essential Volunteer
I came to understand the complexities surrounding volunteering, the backbone of a sports organization.
It might be imperceptible to the naked eye, but I have changed. The brand of my family has been ice making, however, I am more.
The Secret of Mastery
The first engagement with a market was building a curling surface for a club membership at a golf and country club. It was here that I discovered that the real secret to making ice cannot be found on the ice surface.
It is necessary to learn how to serve the membership.
Pat Flynn and Seth Godin have changed how I view the membership where I work. I now see that a tribe could be found inside a building, but this discovery also leads to the conclusion: a tribe is not a clubhouse.
The real tribe extends far beyond the geography of a place.
A crucial error in thinking is the association of bricks and mortar with the tribe. Think of the hotel, the meaningful experience comes from people, not where people sleep temporarily.
Ideas cannot be contained by walls, or politicians, or the governance laws of incorporations. They will always be free to expand.
At the Scotties I could have had fun as an ice maker–that’s what everyone expected. I’m skilled in my own right, no doubt, but there are masters in charge in that section.
Instead, with Doug’s help, I learned another path.
I wanted to quit.
I lost sleep.
I drank too much.
Thankfully the storm cleared and I found confidence. Call it a tiny tendril of hope that grew. A seed had germinated.
Doug knew this would happen.
The Finish Line
Although this project is not over, my guts tell me that the transformation has taken place. The Scotties will come and go but I am changed.
Curling player, ice maker, now organizer. a triple threat.
A triple threat.
Thank you, Doug!