Leadership Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge

ice_bucket.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeThe Ice Bucket Challenge. Have you seen it? It’s the craze that has taken over social media sites in the last few weeks and raised over $88.5 million dollars for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The idea of using buckets of ice water as a platform for ALS awareness came from former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. Together with fellow ALS patient Pat Quinn, who inspired the charity Quinn For The Win, the pair began to challenge their social networks to take the plunge in late July. Pat’s brother Dan posted a video on the charity’s Facebook page in support of the challenge.

How it works:

  • The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging at least 3 others to do the same.
  • A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation

Whether or not you support the Ice Bucket Challenge or ALS for that matter, it’s hard to not at least be amazed at the phenomenon this activity has created. As leaders, I believe there are some lessons among the ice buckets.

Some truths…

  • Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves
  • One idea can catch on like wild fire and touch millions of people
  • There is great power in sharing a personal story…it inspires generosity

What if…

  • Every customer that visits your business or organization was intentional about telling 3 more people about you?
  • Every employee was clearly focused on the mission of your organization?
  • Every member of your organization had one cause they were passionate about? How would that change your organization?

What is your team’s “ice bucket challenge”? What is that one thing, purpose or goal that needs to be made known and shared with others? Leaders, it starts with us. And according to the current challenge rules, we have 24 hours…

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