Sunday, April 19, 2015

Good Practices #3 - Breakfast of Champions

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I don't know if I agree with "them"; I'm pretty partial to the ice cream meal. But I guess there's some good evidence that shows how much more active and effective you are when you've eaten breakfast, and that is something that translates to a good day of judging. But I want to touch on something more specific than "eat breakfast."

Team Lead breakfast. This was a practice that I first encountered when working events Head Judged by John Carter; I believe the first time was GP Boston 2009. Details on this are sketchy. My inbox seems to think that Frank Wareman was the HJ, although I do know that we planned on splitting the event (the first time in the United States?) so Carter was HJ2. We met for breakfast at a hotel, which was probably the staff hotel, back when TOs booked such things. All of the L3/TLs were invited.

If you're the Head Judge of an event, this type of breakfast does a few important things:
1) It ensures that your leadership is fed and energized for the morning.
2) It also means that they will all be on time. (Unless your whole breakfast group is late...)
3) It gives you time to go over some of the important bullet points of the day. More and more, this type of communication happens via e-mail or judgeapps forum posts, but let's be honest. We don't always read those, and there's nothing like a face-to-face talk to get important points across.
4) If you so choose, you can show your generosity by picking up the bill. This is not a necessity. I've had it both ways, and I've done it both ways when I was the Head Judge.

There are a lot of reasons why this whole idea is no longer feasible at GPs. The size of the staff, not to mention the shift schedules. No centralized staff hotel. However, it strikes me as an activity that could still hold a lot of value for the above reasons at the PPTQ level all the way up to SCG Opens, where I've done Team Lead breakfasts to great effect.

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