Having fun at Six Flags America

Employees at Six Flags were recently given a directive by their CEO, Jim Reid Anderson.

“Laugh at the world & yourself.”

My friend Debbie Evans from Six Flags America near Baltimore/Washington DC sent me some pictures and videos of how they decided to laugh at themselves and the ridiculous number of snow days they had incurred.  Their idea… a snowball fight in the wave pool and turning the water slides into snow slides.  Take a look:

SFA Winter Fun 2

SFA Winter Fun

Winter Fun 3

The best part of about the snowball/snow angel-palooza?  When Debbie told her sister about it, her sister asked if she got in trouble?  “No”, she said, “it’s part of my job!”

With all the things we have to do as leaders and managers, it’s easy to forget that fun is part of our jobs.  Most of us work at a facility with “amusement” or “entertainment” or “park” in the title.  Fun isn’t just for our guests, it’s for us, too.

This is a great reminder!  Thank you Debbie and everyone at Six Flags America for sharing!


About the author: Each summer, Matt and a few friends embark on an epic journey to visit various amusement parks around the country. This year will include a stop at Six Flags America.  Here’s hoping it won’t be a snow day!

Leadership lessons from Grandpa John and Tony Beets

If you are a fan of the show Gold Rush, you know the story of Parker Schnabel, a 19-year old gold miner who took his first trip to the Yukon last summer to find his fortune in gold. His goal was to find 800 ounces.

He got over 1000. And he did it with the help of Grandpa John and Tony Beets.

Grandpa John was encouraging, helpful, caring and supportive. He told Parker he believed in him and that he would succeed if he put his mind to it.  Parker was driven by the notion of making grandpa proud.

Parker also got help from Tony Beets, the claim owner Parker leased his claim from in the Yukon.  Tony is demanding, unrelenting, hard working, and more than one time made Parker question his place among the miners in the Yukon. He made Parker want to dig in and try harder, and Parker hated letting Tony down.

Grandpa John gave Parker the support and love he needed.

Tony Beets gave Parker the kick-in-the-pants he needed.

Combined, they embodied what WE need to be doing for our employees.  We need to care for them and support them, but also not let them get away with less than they are capable of.

The question is, can one person (leader) provide BOTH of these things?  Is it possible to be a “Grandpa Beets”?

What do you think?  Are you more Grandpa John or Tony Beets, and how has that impacted your ability to have a positive impact on your staff?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Thanks for reading!


About the author: Matt enjoys helping leaders reach their potential so they can have a positive influence on their business. He can help you realize what it would take to become Grandpa Beets!  Click here to learn more!