Elevate + Auburn
A few weeks ago, Elevate had the opportunity to host an event at Auburn University. The event, Emerge Auburn, was unlike any other the Elevate team has had the privilege of being a part of. This event was loaded with energy, encouragement, and passion. The purpose of this event was to kick off a new student organization striving to create a successive leadership journey. It was a Sunday night on the plains in sweet home Auburn, Alabama. The old Beard–Eaves–Memorial Coliseum was filled with hundreds of freshman that were eagerly awaiting to hear from speakers such as the University’s President Steven Leath, SGA President Jacqueline Keck, Head Baseball Coach Butch Thompson, and celebrity comedian Jeff Foxworthy (pictured below). Each speaker had the chance to give leadership tips and advice on how to optimize their time as students at Auburn University.
There is a lot that goes into a host being able to connect with their audience. From being able to effectively read a crowd and tell the right joke or story, to understanding the demographic of your audience and knowing when to pull the plug on a game or activity that isn’t connecting, being a host or emcee takes work, calculated preparation, and a lot of people skills.
That’s why we remind our hosts all the time…
Who you are off the mic is more important than who you are on the mic.
Event hosting best practices
When we think of hosting, we sometimes think of grandma’s sweet tea and endless pie. If we’re honest, no one can quite touch her talent for hospitality. She’s the best at bringing guests into her home and creating a welcoming environment.
Not your grandma’s kind of hosting…
At Elevate, when we talk about hosting, we’re not quite talking about granny’s homemade treats. We fully believe hosts are more than a welcome committee, and with the right training, can actually become Experience Leaders. read more…
Dear future Elevate Interns,
As I come to the end of my time spent with Elevate this summer, I can’t help but get fired up when I think about all you are about to experience. Being an Elevate intern will be nothing short of a remarkable few months. I can confidently say the opportunities you are about to receive are opportunities that you will not find at any other company. This internship is going to stretch you, encourage you, teach you, and challenge you in ways that you could never expect. Before you begin this adventure, there are a few things you should know… read more…
The following blog is written by Jake Dudley, Elevate Experience Leader and Braves fanatic.
I’ve grown up a Braves fan.
I chopped hard as an 8-year old during the 1995 World Series. I can tell you the exact seat numbers I sat in during the infamous “infield fly” call made during the 2012 Wild Card game against the St. Louis Cardinals. I cried when Bobby Cox retired.
As the famous quote from the movie Moneyball goes: It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball. read more…
We believe in the next generation, recognizing young leaders as the future of business and leadership. Our team recently asked what if we were an organization willing to develop young leaders? What would it look like to help young men and women enter the workplace feeling knowledgeable of opportunities, equipped in skillsets, and eager to add value?
Cue The Intern Exchange Program
The Elevate Intern Exchange Program is an innovative approach to developing young leaders. We partner with legacy-minded organizations to provide growth opportunities for career-ready interns. This summer was our first season rolling out this new project and we partnered with our friends at The Big Fake Wedding who helped make this inaugural program a success! read more…
The following blog is written by Elevate Intern, Brittyn Moellering. Brittyn is a rising senior at Auburn University with an interest in marketing. Continue reading for her overview of a recent Elevate host experience.
Creating Experiences Through Your Passions
For most of us, interacting with a penguin, leopard, or kangaroo is something you may never experience or may only experience at a zoo with a large fence standing in between. For Jungle Jack Hanna, taking care of these animals is just another average workday. Jack Hanna, an American Zookeeper, has been the star of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. He has also had the opportunity to appear on shows such as David Letterman, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show.
A few weeks ago, Chick-fil-A created a Virtual Zoo Field Trip experience that Elevate’s founder, Billy Boughey, was able to be a part of. This interview with Jungle Jack Hanna was nothing short of extraordinary. Not only did this interview engage over 140k viewers, it also informed thousands of children and adults on some of the most incredible animals in the world.
Jungle Jack Hanna was accompanied by:
- an African Black Footed Penguin
- a Clouded Leopard
- a Grey Kangaroo
Billy was given the chance to not only expand his knowledge on each of these rare animals, but also hold and interact with them.
Jack Hanna expressed his knowledge and passion for these animals by creating an unforgettable experience for Billy and their viewers. Animals may not be your passion, but the experience that Jack Hanna created for his audience, led to a sense of awe and wonder in the minds and eyes of over 140k people.
Often times the easiest way to get people excited about your passion is simply by inviting them in to experience your enthusiasm. Just as Jungle Jack Hanna does every day, how can you take your passions, share them with other people, and create an unforgettable experience?
To see Elevate Founder Billy Boughey’s perspective on this recent experience, visit his blog and get the behind-the-scenes look.
Isn’t it something how top brands continue to innovate, putting out the best of the best in their industry? When Apple releases a new iPhone, people line outside the store hoping to be one of the first to try this new product.
Successful companies and individuals are exceptionally skilled at recognizing opportunity and taking initiative to explore new frontiers. This bent toward open-mindedness plays a big role in setting industry leaders apart from competitors.
So how can we all better recognize and embrace future opportunities? Let’s start with three simple steps:
Think about the possibilities ahead
At the start of each month, each week, or even each day, take time to think about the opportunities ahead. Is there a new idea you’ve had but haven’t yet shared with your team? Has someone invited you to join a networking group? Do you see opportunities for a leadership role in the near future?
Don’t be afraid to think big and often. List all the many opportunities set before you and note anything that comes to mind.
Picture the outcome
Reflect on what it would mean to take advantage of these opportunities. If you were to take initiative and explore the possibilities you listed in step one, what would this mean for you, your team, or your business? Take them one at a time and think about the type of impact each opportunity would create.
Plan your journey
- Think about the why behind each new goal
- Write down the action steps needed to succeed
- Highlight an immediate action step you can take to start your journey
- Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based)
- Share your goals and your plan with an accountability partner and ask for this person to help keep you on track
The best companies recognize the importance of a forward-thinking approach and are the first to bring new, fresh ideas to life. So how do companies like Nike, a leading brand for athletes, and Coca-Cola, the most well-known brand in the world, become the best in business?
The Keep it Fresh Strategy
Creativity and innovation are key ingredients to becoming a top brand. The most successful companies lead the charge, setting new trends and standards for their industry. Rather than struggling to keep up with the latest best practices, these companies create new, original approaches to business.
How to keep it fresh
If you’re looking to prioritize innovation but aren’t sure how to implement a Keep it Fresh Strategy, take these 5 tips into consideration:
- Welcome new ideas from every level of your team
- Take risks to try what’s never been done before
- Prioritize creativity and innovation
- Adopt a can-do mentality
- Avoid fear-based decisions
Welcoming new ideas
Create an open culture, giving your team freedom to share thoughts, ideas, and potential strategies. You have a better chance of coming across your next big success if your entire team is brainstorming and collaborating together.
Top companies aren’t afraid to take risks. They take charge and lead new initiatives, even when the idea might seem strange. In fact, they’re especially skilled at taking a shot on new, out-of-the-norm practices. If your business can say it has accomplished something that’s never been done before, you’re on the right track to becoming a top brand.
A few ways to prioritize creativity might include:
- Providing specific time and space for creative thinking
- Encouraging your team to participate in creativity challenges
- Making time for brainstorming sessions
Adopting a can-do mentality
Once you have your game-changing idea, commit to giving it a try. Create a plan of execution and be an encouraging presence throughout the process. Don’t underestimate the power of determination and positivity.
Avoiding fear-based decisions
Many incredible ideas never make it to the drawing board, simply because of fear and uncertainty. The most successful companies welcome fresh concepts, craft strategic plans, and move forward in execution. If fear stood in the way of every untried idea we would never experience world-class science, life-changing technology, or innovative business strategies.
A Keep it Fresh Strategy will set you apart from your competition and help you become a brand of choice. This is an area we’re growing in as well, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have additional tips for implementing fresh ideas into your business model, let us know in the comments below!
“Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” – Billy Boughey