Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bears’ Greg Olsen kicked off field at Stevenson High - Chicago Sun-Times

Bears’ Greg Olsen kicked off field at Stevenson High - Chicago Sun-Times

I'm a Bears fan, and even I would have stopped Greg Olsen from going on to the Stevenson High School football field. Hey I like him as a player, tried to trade for him on to my championship Fantasy Football team. I would not have sent him away feeling unwelcomed. Here's someone who lives in the community, who is a quality professional in his work place. I'd give him the star treatment, as if he were a CEO, scientist, elected official, business owner, a chef, a parent or an educator--because Greg Olsen is a potential contributor of time and networking power.

He want's to use the facilities at the school, fine, here's the paperwork holding harmless the district and employees. "Mr. Olsen, can I get you some coffee, water, or Gatorade, while the paperwork is faxed or delivered by the Superintendent's office? What would you like for a snack or lunch from our cafeteria (or the cafe down the street)? Can we get some pictures with you as one of our . successful members of the community...signed?"

Accommodate this professional. But also have him do the background check (not too difficult given he's a public figure) done with anyone who will be on school grounds when minors are present. Work out an arrangement for the NFL starting tight end to practice on the field. Include in the plan that he give some of his time to mentor players and other students about perseverance, dedication, and long term planning. As the relationship builds, have Mr. Olsen connect the school leadership team with other professionals, ranging from the businesses whose products he endorses to say...the management of the Chicago Bears (after the lockout ends of course).

Safety and insurance coverage is necessary in today's society. Opportunities for partnerships that would benefit students' learning experiences should not be squandered by a public show of aloofness and cold rejection.

Adlai E. Stevenson High School has won numerous awards for excellence, including the prestigious U.S. Department of Ed. Blue Ribbon Award for 1987, 1991, 1998, and 2002. It's the birthplace of the Professional Learning Communities (2nd site) concept by Richard DuFour (bio) that went viral in the United States. The school gets visitors, including me, from across the country and internationally to see their structure for success. With such experience with dealing with attention in their own right, it makes this publicity and missed opportunity more surprising.