I not too long ago accomplished a 22 day mission with a neighborhood charity working with kids with cerebral palsy (CP) in Vietnam. I used to be requested to hitch their worldwide workforce of well being care professionals as videographer for a 30 minute documentary our local people TV station authorised a number of months earlier. I not too long ago simply started videotaping my speeches to good them and thought capturing tales on movies would make me a stronger speaker. Upon our early morning 3 am arrival and a brief sleep, all of us met within the lunch room as most of us have by no means met earlier than. After a quick replace on our upcoming 2 week mission, our workforce lead Laverne Bissky requested every of us to provide a 3 to five minute speak of why we’re right here, what we count on to perform and anything that involves thoughts. I went final as I used to be filming. This allowed me to take heed to everybody’s story first. That is after I realized, regardless of our differing backgrounds, we’re all equal and collectively right here for 1 trigger, that being the youngsters. I got here to seize a narrative however what started to unfold earlier than me had been actual life examples of management classes. Our first gathering gave me my first lesson.

Lesson #1 – “There isn’t any I in TEAM”

In these introductions, we had been additionally requested to clarify what we consider our position or a minimum of what we expect our position might be. Most had quite simple quick descriptors which made it very simple to place the items of this mission puzzle collectively, a minimum of for me as I noticed our workforce unfold and hyperlink collectively earlier than me.

Lesson #2 – “Hold job descriptions easy; like 2 or 3 traces”

Within the coming days as we visited completely different hospitals, met the mother and father and their kids in our revolving workshops on the ground mats within the hospitals, all of us began to assist one another even within the easiest of how. As I filmed behind the digital camera I by no means noticed anybody of our workforce keep put, just because that wasn’t in my job description. Everybody contributed at any time when wanted with out being requested. I too, regardless of holding a operating digital camera, additionally lent a hand by passing one thing to our workshop leads. That is after I absolutely understood, we aren’t working for ourselves however the youngsters attending aged anyplace from 9 months to their mid teenagers.

Lesson #3 – “Do not restrict your contribution to your 2 or 3 line job description”

All of the whereas this was occurring, our workforce lead Laverne, founder, government director and mother or father skilled by no means stayed on the head desk for lengthy. She did not even keep within the limelight both as I caught many profiles videotaping the place she was intermixed with the mother and father, watching and listening from the again, as if she too was there for the informational classes to take some cerebral palsy information again house along with her little one.

Lesson #4 – “Leaders aren’t at all times within the entrance”

We had been in Vietnam and we relied completely on our workforce of native gen y translators who spoke superb English. Typically I heard 1 English phrase taking a lot of their phrases to translate. I used to be instructed that many phrases haven’t any direct translation, so transcription grew to become the norm. I started to understand that the Vietnamese language shouldn’t be a easy one to be taught. In an effort to join I relied closely on making eye contact for a number of seconds, then smile and even nod. Typically I even gestured to point out sincerity and friendship. The place applicable I even relied on a handshake.

Lesson #5 – “Do not underestimate the facility of a smile, eye contact or a handshake”

As soon as on the road throughout our breaks and sightseeing, we had been clearly the visiting foreigners. Whether or not passing the store house owners trying to entice us to enter or a avenue vendor hoping to promote us an albeit easy trinket, I at all times felt I used to be being handled with respect and sincerity. It is the type of feeling I seldom recall experiencing again house within the west. It did not matter whether or not the merchandise was solely a greenback or 50 {dollars}. It did not take me lengthy to really feel so particular that I simply needed to purchase most something from the distributors.

Lesson #6 – “Make your buyer really feel particular”

Many occasions all through our travelling mission workshops from behind the video digital camera, I might seize Laverne having direct one-on-one discussions with our workforce members. Typically I might seize at a distance so might solely observe facial expressions and physique language. Different occasions it was up shut and I might hear the dialogue. Typically it was enterprise about our academic workshop and different occasions it was shear pleasure a few humorous incident that we could have encountered.

Lesson #7 – “Get to know your workforce members”

As Laverne has spent prolonged durations in Vietnam earlier than, she had a repertoire of cool sights for us to see. When a transition or break was so as, we did some sightseeing both within the night or whereas travelling to our subsequent vacation spot. Throughout our travelling, we stopped for breaks at roadside markets to attempt some native fruit or snack. That gave us an opportunity to get to know one another higher on a social foundation, since most of us have simply met right here on this mission for the primary time. We even took turns selecting a restaurant every night to eat at. For higher or worse, even when one did not work out, we nonetheless took it in good humor and used the incident to construct a very good workforce relationship.

Lesson #8 – “Chief aren’t afraid to throw in some enjoyable”

Planning this mission was completed by Laverne and possibly 1+ 12 months upfront. The benefit and smoothness at which our 22 day mission ran was exceptional, in my remark. I doubt Laverne, the only organizer would completely agree that it simply got here collectively by itself. Planning the logistics for a bunch of 14, travelling from 13 time zones away, 5 cities, 5 inns, workforce members from 3 different nations, quite a few cabs, chartered coach, flying, visiting an orphanage and several other social stops to go to native pals constituted of previous missions, is not any small feat. Little question, having such a detailed relationship with ones’ personal planning, one can not help however really feel it’s good and cannot be optimized or tweaked. However final minute changes needed to be made, at no nice loss both to the advantage of the mission as a complete or to accommodate particular person workforce members.

Lesson #9 – “Plans are simply plans – Permit your workforce member to regulate their scope”

Most days we had a fast 30 minute debrief assembly of the times workshop actions. These would often be again at our resort the place we stayed. We might all meet within the breakfast room which was quiet as we had all of it to ourselves, order a drink or snack then every take 2-3 minutes to provide our observations of the times progress, good, unhealthy, classes discovered or in any other case. Some days Laverne would chair however a number of occasions Terry (the opposite Terry) would chair these debrief conferences. This might give Laverne an opportunity to not solely pay attention but additionally focus extra on the general mission content material, technique, execution and progress.

Lesson #10 – “Good leaders do not lead alone”

With Laverne having many issues to execute and observe, she did not at all times lead our day by day spherical desk of “classes discovered” and “what labored and what did not”. That is the place others of our workforce additionally pitched in. This gave others an opportunity to “drive the bus”. You would not need the identical individual do all of the main, as additionally they want a “seat within the viewers” to replicate on the day, and ask questions. I believe it additionally encourages the remainder of the workforce to typically act as in the event that they lead. Really, when our group classes broke out into teams, they did lead their very own teams.

Lesson #11 – “Good leaders are good followers additionally”

A part of our hospital workshop program was breaking apart into teams of three or 4 and visiting a house the place there resided a baby with cerebral palsy. We might spend about an hour with the household and thru the usage of an interpreter, we’d ask the household what challenges they’d administering the particular care their little one required. Every group had 1 heath care skilled who would observe whether or not any particular aids or workouts would assist the kid. Typically we might solely get into these locations by every driving on the again of a motorcycle as the agricultural streets had been typically concrete paths solely 6 ft broad. Being March meant day temperatures within the mid to excessive 30’s centigrade. On one such house go to one among our well being consultants noticed a small quaint cafe giant sufficient to accommodate all of us and stated, “Let’s have our debrief right here over a cool drink.” As he proceeded, extra of us started to observe. It was truly an excellent concept as a result of we nonetheless had a 1 hour bus experience again to our resort and by then, a lot of what every group noticed of their house go to could not have come out in our resort debrief, most of us succumbing to fatigue of an extended day and the warmth.

Lesson #12 – “If a workforce member has an concept to execute, allow them to run with it”

Typically, concepts on the spur of the second are good, as one can see what’s transpiring and what could have to be completed or applied. It additionally provides your complete workforce an opportunity to mildew and form you challenge. If it does not absolutely work out, it’ll nonetheless be good to notice that and why, at your day by day recap of “classes discovered”. Many concepts could also be first-born and have to be examined someplace and someday. There isn’t any higher a time than the current.

I got here to seize a narrative and find out about videography. I depart having the very best seat in the home to look at first hand management classes. For me, this journey to Vietnam was undoubtedly no odd journey.

You must also watch my quick video tribute to our workforce and our wonderful expertise – Vietnam is No Ordinary Journey



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