Good morning, Bulldog Nation. Looking around campus and the athletic complexes this week, and even just driving through town and seeing how many more people are around, it's obvious that the academic year is upon us. Football practice is in full swing, the soccer team is scrimmaging this Friday night, all the facilities have about finished their off-season upgrades, and... the UGA Athletic Association has completed some workshops in hopes of improving itself for the coming year.
Last week several staff members spent a night at Lake Lanier, listening to speakers Carl Swearingen, Genie Chamberlin, and Carole Middlebrooks address the topics of team-building, customer service, and even a little bit of thinking outside the box. One thing Carl said that stuck with me, in particular, was that just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean it's the right way. It was interesting to hear him, as a long-time Georgia season ticket holder, mention examples of things he's observed that he feels could be improved. One of his points was that sometimes companies, businesses, organizations, and the like get stuck in the same rut, and it was good to hear an outside perspective ask us why we do certain things or why we do them that way. The takeaway was that if you don't have a good answer, it may be time to change, adapt, and make a new plan of attack, and that's an attitude that will make UGA Athletics better.
The day also included team-building exercises such as building boats out of nothing but cardboard and duct tape and racing them across the hotel's pool. And, some karaoke - which included a guest rendition of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by our own Greg McGarity. We've got the pictures to prove it! (We'll save those for another day...)
Yesterday, the UGAAA met for lunch and a talk by Dr. Earl Suttle, who had some "Earl's Pearls" of wisdom on leadership and staying positive for a better work environment and overall growth and success of the team. Both retreats were good for us to evaluate ways to get better, and to make sure Georgia fans get a good experience when they come to our games, that student-athletes have a good experience playing here, that other UGA students are proud to say they attend this university, and that everyone is proud to be a part of the Bulldog Nation.
We're all looking forward to a very exciting 2012-13, and can't wait for you to be a part of it with us!