If you have ever seen the Saturday Night Live skit entitled “More Cowbell” then you might understand that you must have passion to ring the bell correctly. See the SNL version at this link:
For many centuries, bell ringing was recognized as a highly skilled profession, and much of the country’s history can be traced through the history of its bells. The NYSE’s opening and closing bell ceremonies are believed to be amongst the most widely viewed daily TV events in the world. Companies have always used this bell ringing event to celebrate various milestones. Cable cars drivers have used them in San Francisco since 1955 to celebrate the new form of transportation.
The Liberty Bell was rung to call the Assembly together and to summon people together for special announcements and events. The Liberty Bell tolled frequently in history.
In track and field, the bell lap, is the most important lap of a race, signaled by the ringing of a bell as the leader begins the final lap. Churches also used them on special occasions or to mark it’s time for worship to begin.
When I first came to work at Lee University in 1990, I worked for Dale Goff, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. He understood the significant of bell ringing and the power it could play in today’s work place. He said your name in such a different tone that you knew he cared. His sense of humor during tough times always brought hope to any stressful assignment. He was the kind of leader that rolled up his sleeves and helped you complete the task. This approach reminded me that we all need to be the kind of leader that our staff can count on during difficult times.
Dale also never missed an opportunity to ring the cowbell loudly when a new record or when a major goal was reached. I will never forget the experience of hearing this loud cowbell ringing as he came into my office to celebrate the moment. The loud sounding bell would stop everyone in their tracks to see what the noise was all about. It was his way to show you that your work mattered and was appreciated. What did I learned from this experience, there are small but important ways to show the value of our work. This cow bell ringing tradition will always be included in my leadership strategies. It’s still amazes me after ringing the cowbell in admissions office for almost 20 years now, the many smiles it puts on faces in the office every time. Now, I am often asked, we should ring the bell for this accomplishment, don’t you think? An opportunity I never want to miss. Thanks Dale for this important lesson in leadership.
Do you find the time to show your employees or co-workers that their work matters? Maybe what they need is “MORE” cowbell.