Swimming and diving skits

This week, Fredonia’s swimming and diving teams held an evening of skits–they do them each January during their winter training trip to Florida. As part of a four-group competition, team members act out satirical scenes of coaches, teammates, and their relationships. Their skits are one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Afterwards, coaches rank the teams and select a winner. Let me tell you about this year’s winner.

A senior led the preparation for the winning group. I was told by his teammates that he was demanding, crafting detailed scenarios on paper and then rehearsing them with precision. If someone got distracted he yelled. If someone messed up he coached. He worked quickly and demanded his teammates keep up. In a seemingly trivial activity, this person decided to create magic.

Their skit ended up being creative, hilarious, and was executed perfectly. It’s no surprise that the leader of this team has won three out of four skits he’s been a part of.

If I’m an employer I want that guy in my organization.

Ten days of 4.5-hour practices is extremely difficult. In a way, it’s also easy: just do what you’re told. Same with med school, law school, and most jobs: show up and do what you’re told. Doing what you’re told is important, but we have no shortage of people who are good at doing what they’re told.

We have a shortage of people with courage, leadership, initiative and creativity–all the qualities used in creating a skit.

Yes, if I’m an employer I want the guy who works hard during a 4.5-hour practice, but I really want the guy who can create a magical skit that night too.

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