Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hosts With the Most

Hosting teams is a difficult job. Besides providing basic food and lodging, most hosts are significantly invested in the mission of the team, which raises the logistically complexity of playing the host role. This includes finding meaningful tasks that fit with the overall project, plugging the right people into the right job, an almost-constant-conducting and arranging of people, resources and tasks. Not to mention the work before the team even arrives. And let's not even talk about how to entertain teams in their downtime.

Most hosts are done when teams leave. But the really great hosts leverage their connection. They see their role not as hotel desk clerks but as teacher-mentor-dorm parents, knowing that they can tap an unseen potential that will serve a greater cause. Great hosts offer advice, insight and perspective to their teams. They ask for feedback on the experience from team leaders - and they act on it. They relate, challenge and inspire - long after their teams have left.

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