"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence." - Anonymous
Have you ever met someone and in a matter of minutes you got a pretty good feel for their character?
As a family we stepped out of the sweltering heat and into the confinesof the U.S. Capitol. This was our first visit inside and we were looking forward to a guided tour. We gathered at the back of the line and then we were routed into five different lanes. As we began filtering to lane five a gentleman in a red jacket approached and motioned us to lane four with him. He introduced himself as Ron and handed us our head phones. He then took a moment to make sure they were working properly.
Our group consisted of approximately 15 people. Ron gave us a quick overview and then told us he would try to get us into a couple areas that are, “not general access points.” Within a couple minutes Ron made us all feel valued and special. He wasn’t simply, “herding cattle”, he was going beyond the call of duty.
Our first stop was in a semi-private room with the bust of Abraham Lincoln. Ron went into great detail about the display and the significance. It didn't take long to realize the extensive knowledge that Ron possessed. After another stop he led us into the Rotunda.
Immediately upon entering the Rotunda I was speechless. Looking at the works of art made it all very real. Ron shared several significant pieces of information and he even stopped us twice to have us notice members of Congress walking through the Rotunda. Ron’s ability to share fact, with historical perspective, and embed wit was astounding. As he talked to us he looked at us, he answered our questions, he was 100% present in our experience.
As our tour drew to a close, I gravitated to the front and began talking with Ron. I told him I was impressed with his knowledge and expertise of the Capitol. He looked at me and said, “I take great pride in my work.” I responded, “I can see that and so can your colleagues.” I then shared with him that I spontaneously said to another guide, “Ron is good!” His colleague looked at me, smiled, nodded, and said, “He’s the best.”
After Ron heard this he paused. He looked at me and said, “Thank you. Thank you for your interest in our country and thank you for your kind words.”
Ron then discreetly shared a few inside tidbits with me about the House of Representatives. He then ushered my family through a private walkway and that was the last I saw of Ron.
Throughout our tour I learned amazing facts about dead spots in the floor, a change in artists in the Rotunda, the subtle flaws in the artwork and the deep history of the Capitol. I left FAR better than when I entered. This was the mark of a terrific tour.
Moments later we stood in line for a behind the scenes viewing of the House of Representatives, yet all I could think about was wishing I had another tour with Ron. His professionalism, insight and pride really made an impression on me.
As I reflect on my visit to the Capitol I pause and think of the experience. What characteristics show you that a person is genuine, invested and takes pride in what they do? What experience do you provide for the people you serve?
Our World would be a better place if we had more people like Ron. Invested individuals that take pride in all they do.
What will people say about the experience you provide?
Mr. Gilpin is a people first educator that is focused on serving others, building relationships, student engagement and empowering staff.