Pat Koch: Humor and Humility


For those fortunate enough to attend the Pat Koch Lunch And Learn at the IAAPA Attractions Expo, you already know what I am about to tell you. She rocks.

I went in to the lunch expecting insight, but walked away with so much more. After hearing Mrs. Koch speak, it’s not surprising why Holiday World has enjoyed the success they have over the years. It starts at the top.

Here are a few leadership golden nuggets I took away from her presentation.

First, she said she was humbled to be given the opportunity to address the association. Humbled. As in not putting too much importance in yourself or taking yourself too seriously. How many leaders do you know that would qualify as humble?

Too often leaders are under the impression that they have to keep spouting their accomplishments to be taken seriously. Even if they want to be humble, there could be a feeling that their vulnerability could be perceived as a weakness.  Mrs. Koch showed that putting others first is how you succeed.

Mrs. Koch was also not short on humor.  Whether it was sharing with us where NOT to put the dispenser of free sunscreen (right next to the hot dog condiments) or her favorite pizza that turned out to be a bust (baked potato), you got a sense that she embraced learning from the silly things we sometimes do.  Can’t underestimate the importance of a sense of humor, especially in this business!

Lastly, Mrs. Koch reminded us how critical it is for us to role model the behaviors we want out of our employees. “Do what you want them to do, be what you want them to be.”  Again, it starts at the top.  If she isn’t doing it, she can’t expect anyone else to.

Mrs. Koch also shared how Holiday World has been able to earn the Golden Ticket award for Friendliest Park for 13 years.  I’ll be sharing some of those insights in a future post.

If you were there to hear Mrs. Koch speak, what did you take away?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Pat Koch: Humor and Humility

  1. I didn’t get a chance to hear Pat speak, but did get a sneak peak at her Power Point during rehearsals. I had to ask someone who attended to explain her thoughts on Integrity (I think, actually, it was you, sir) … But I loved her perspective: you either have Integrity, or you don’t.

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