by Ashleigh Renard
At Philadelphia Symmetry everything feels exciting and new.
This is technically our 13th season, and our second season as a merged organization with the former Team Liberty, but we are prioritizing and clarifying our values in a new way.
Last season was a whirlwind, announcing our merger in February, gaining the support of two sets of rink management, scheduling practices for 8 new teams, guiding 100 families to understand the club and rink policies at two locations, and merging two sets of coaching staff. After laying the strong foundation last season, we were ready to move on to creating the organization of our dreams.
I share a lot of personal values with my codirector, Kati Link. This was the motivation for merging our organizations in the first place. Along with our Team Manager, Jill McGee, we wanted to offer something that went beyond athletic improvement. We believe in putting people first and inspiring our athletes to be better versions of themselves every single day. Through inspiration and empowerment we want to unlock the potential in each one of our athletes.
Kati and I spent the past six months reading, studying, scheming, and dreaming. How do we create a culture that encourages our skaters to strive towards becoming better athletes and better people every single day? How do we put this into practice each and every time we are on the ice? How do we instill this in everyone involved, our coaches, skaters, and parent volunteers? How do we accomplish these big things?
Our answer came in focusing on the little things. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
Our personal libraries are filled with books on selfawareness, leadership, and company culture. One book that really resonated with us was “Delivering Happiness” by Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh. In this funny and insightful book Tony outlines how he focused relentlessly on the happiness of his employees and customers and just happened to create a billion dollar company.
He has inspired us to focus our priorities on the 1% and WOW principles. We ask each of our skaters, coaches, and our manager to get 1% better every day and to share with us where they saw that improvement. Any improvement is encouraged and we trust these individuals to choose those areas themselves. We also ask everyone in our organization to WOW someone else each day. A WOW is an act of kindness or caring that goes above and beyond what’s expected, and has an emotional impact on the receiver. Kati and I also challenge ourselves to fulfill the 1% and WOW everyday, sharing our accomplishments with our skaters and coaching staff.
With this renewed focus we have experienced more joy, more unity, and bigger improvements than ever. And for us, that’s a WOW.