I’ve been in the process of planning and building this blog for about a month now, and it’s still VERY MUCH UNDER CONSTRUCTION. There’s a huge story behind it, which I’ll get to in a later post. But first, I desperately need to talk about this incredible thing I experienced over the past few days.
Our Community Listens is a non-profit organization that, as far as I’m concerned, is going to absolutely change the world. This guy, Bob Chapman, is CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, which owns a bunch of other companies. Blah, blah, blah. Look it up, if you really want to know about them. So, over the course of his life in the business and how he completely rebuilt it after it almost imploded, this dude has somehow figured out the secret to successful communication. Not only did he figure it out, but then he decided to share it. That’s how OCL came along. They put on 3-day classes that are…. I want to say life-changing, but that would be an understatement.
So, this genius Bob Chapman guy decided to save a failing company by basically focusing on actually caring about people than about the money. He figured out how to get people to communicate effectively and with true empathy within a work environment. Happier people turned into better productivity, which turned into more money, which turned into Bob starting a non-profit that puts on FREE classes (with an estimated worth of $2000) that will tell you all the skills you need to rule the world. OCL classes are marketed towards office-oriented companies, but the impact that this class will have on your life outside of work is double the benefit.
Think you’re a great listener? It’s insane how much greater you could be. Good at resolving conflicts? You have no idea how much better you could be. Think you know how to show people that you appreciate them? You could think so much bigger. Over the past few years, I’ve been in a huge self-improvement phase of life (which I’ll get to in multiple later posts, I’m sure) and I have never experienced such a powerful force of knowledge to make myself a better person. I don’t know if that sentence makes sense, even rereading it to myself, but that’s the best way that I can explain it. The class makes so much sense, yet no sense at all. I don’t know….
If any of my classmates or instructors happen to stumble across this, I appreciate every single one of you. Jim, and especially, Heather, thank you both for spreading Bob’s word to us. The openness, passion, vulnerability, and kindness I felt in that room was something I’ve never felt before. Terri, Nicki, Kelly L., Kelly W., Drea, E.B., Theresa, Pam, Jane, Grace, Travy TravMan, and Captain Kris, I am honored to call every single one of you my classmate during this amazing process. Kris, thank you for everything you have done for me, not only as a boss, but as a friend, mentor, and inspiration. I am excited and grateful that you trust me to be your right-hand-man on this amazing journey that Cruisers will be. Travis, thank you for being such an awesome baby sidekick in our management team. I’m excited to have you not work for me, but with me to help Kris grow the snack shack and save the world. Despite being a decade older than you, I look up to you and you are truly an inspirational kid. Love you all, Class 86!
Head to the OCL website to find where your nearest OCL hub is located and apply for a class. I’m sure more locations are going to quickly be popping up around the country. The enthusiasm to spread the word by every OCL alum I’ve witnessed is incredible. The vibes inside that classroom after we ‘graduated’ were un-explainable. The passion felt from the 15 of us in that room to spread the word about OCL was powerful. I am so grateful that my boss, Kris, found this opportunity and that I got to experience with him and one of my assistant managers, Travis. We’re beyond stoked to incorporate things we learned into our sandwich shop and our own personal lives. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an OCL class, please hop on that chance and ride it into the sunset. Seriously. The world would be a much kinder place if everyone practiced what this class preaches.