CoCo Reflections from Garrett McGowan:
This Week’s CoCo: Be a Hero, Find a Hero
In reflecting on my past, I am fortunate enough to identify several individuals that have served as my personal heroes. Each played a part in shaping my journey and in forming my outlook on life. Each went above and beyond their expected roles and spoke into my life in a way that showed genuine care and interest.
In childhood, the father of my neighborhood best friends served as a hero. With the permission of the other parents, he would round up the neighborhood kids and treat everyone to ice cream. He would pull extra money from the ATM and when he noticed a service worker having a bad day, he would discreetly provide a generous tip. On a monthly basis, he would host large family gatherings and would look after everyone that attended. Everywhere he went, it seemed like someone wanted to shake his hand. He modeled a life of joy and generosity. He showed me what it looked like to be committed to a family and to be an advocate for one’s community.
In high school, my history teacher served as a hero. She radiated with a joy for learning that was infectious. She achieved the impossible feat of transforming archaic lessons from textbooks into stories of palpable human experiences. She instilled in her students the value of shared stories – whether it be epic tales of civilizations or intimate retellings from family members. She modeled what it looked like to be a life-time learner and transformed my outlook of simply ‘getting the grades’ into the genuine joy of learning for the sake of learning itself.
In college, my philosophy professor served as a hero. He was open-minded but skeptical. He possessed the ability to disagree with gentleness and civility. He showed that true intelligence comes with the ability to admit one’s limits and that the accumulation of knowledge should be used to pursue truth rather than for self-promotion or for gaining an advantage over another. He modeled a sense of humility that I deeply admired and an intentionality for every conversation to lead towards a shared understanding. He made me a better and more empathetic thinker.
Another thing that these heroes have in common? I haven’t spoken to any of them in over a decade and they likely have no idea the impact that they have made on my life – that is a sad failure on my part.
Being a hero is often as simple as showing up for someone in a formative moment. We have numerous opportunities in our lives to demonstrate heroic care and intentionality for others. In many cases, this ‘heroism’ goes unnoticed because we are too self-absorbed or distracted. We should make a practice of being more mindful/aware and calling out/celebrating our heroes. I will start with my heroes above.
Next Week’s CoCo: Take Risks
I received the best advice of my life in the summer of 2013.
Earlier that spring, I came out of a long-term relationship. While it ended relatively amicably, it shook up my world. My plan was to recenter, focus on my studies, and to reshape my plans for the future. But, as fate would have it, all my best laid plans came crashing down when a new variable entered the mix: I met a girl. The connection was electric. For two weeks, we spent every available moment together. When we weren’t together, my mind was fixated on her. But our story began as the semester was closing, and we were both set to travel back to our respective homes across the country. I gave her an ironic “HAGS” card and we agreed to keep in touch and to see if our paths would cross again in the future.
But our paths never truly separated. Over the course of the summer, we kept in constant contact: texting, calling late into the evening, writing letters, and sending each other packages/mixtapes/etc. One day, midway through the summer, she raised the stakes with a bold request for me to fly out and visit her in Green Bay. I had no doubts about my feelings for her, but I was torn by the surrounding circumstances. I was weighing the optics jumping from one serious relationship into another, the prospect of meeting her entire family before I truly knew her, and the dangers of rushing something that seemed to be going so well.
The day after I received her request, I was sitting in my room contemplating how I should respond. My dad knocked on the door, came in, and asked what was on my mind. I recounted the request and stated my concerns. After a short pause of consideration, my dad shared a piece of advice that forever changed the course of my life. He said, “Garrett, if you go on this trip and it proves to be a disaster, you will have a funny story to tell the rest of your life. If you go on this trip and it proves to be successful, she could be your future wife.” Said simply: a very high potential upside and a relatively low potential downside – take a risk. The risk paid off as Lauren and I have now been together for a decade.
The mandate to ‘Take Risks’ is inherently scary. It requires us to journey into discomfort and to face the possibility of failure and embarrassment. This possibility can and should be mitigated by taking calculated risks, but the downside can never be reduced to zero. While the failure resulting from a reckless risk is often fruitless, the failure from a calculated risk serves as a learning opportunity. Success is ultimately attained by these learning opportunities and the best possible outcomes are achieved by taking calculated risks – I have a ring to prove it.
- Be a Hero, Find a Hero: This Core Commitment Hero comes from the Production Team – Saragrace Johnson! SJ (as the cool kidz call her) is always stepping up to fill shifts, work extra, learn new things, or fill in whenever and wherever she can! Also, SJ is always appreciative, and gracious, and supports her coworkers with a positive attitude!
- Take Risks: This Core Commitment Hero comes from the Production Team – Chase Sullivan and Jordan King. Both of them do the bulk of our daytime Wholesale deliveries all over southeastern Wisconsin. Not only is it a risk to get out and drive to new places constantly, but they are the faces of Stone Creek for some customers! Thanks to both of you for always diving right in!
Join the Whitefish Bay Opening Team: We are so excited for the opportunity to Create Remarkable Care in a new Whitefish Bay Cafe & Kitchen, with a target opening date this summer! We are in the early stages of building a team of Baristas, Line Cooks, and Cafe & Kitchen Team Leaders. If you are interested in joining the Whitefish Bay opening team, either as a permanent transfer or a temporary transfer, reach out to email@example.com!
Cafe Coach Trainee – Retail Cafes: Cafe Coach Trainees study and learn how to become a Cafe Coach over 13 weeks, with a combination of paid training, cafe shifts, and leadership classes. They earn a base pay rate of $14/hour + tips, and work closely with a Lead and/or Master Coach throughout their training before being placed as a Cafe Coach. If you want to learn how to run a cafe, lead a team and you’re interested in building career-oriented skills, click here to apply!
- 6/22 TNT: Mark your calendars and plan to join us on June 22nd for our next Thursday Night Throwdown! This time around it is Jazz Night themed so come in some comfortable jazz club attire and be ready for a relaxing night of competition and fun! There will be two brackets, a beginner’s bracket, and an experienced bracket, food, and more! We’ll be giving away prizes for all competitive aspects of the TNT. All team members from all teams are invited. Please note that anyone who has been a barista for less than a year qualifies for the beginner’s bracket. Keep an eye on TNT updates as we decide what other fun competition will coincide with the latte art throwdown. Posters with QR codes will be making their way to cafes in the coming weeks! Please let your team leader know if you are hoping to attend so we can plan schedules accordingly. See you there!
Employee Satisfaction Survey – Coming Soon: Multiple times throughout the year we reach out and ask for your feedback regarding an array of subjects, and then we use your feedback to help us Never Stop Learning. On Monday, June 12th, Teams & People will send out our biannual Employee Satisfaction Survey. Through your anonymous responses to these surveys we are able to gauge the perspectives of our employees on how well we are doing as a company and employer. Both the detailed #SpeakUps and #HeroShoutOuts you provide in this survey and the aggregate score give us tremendous guidance and an objective picture of how well we engage with our team members.
As our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging team continues to iterate to improve our learning in support of our DEI&B initiatives, you can expect to see a few additional questions at the end of this survey and others in the future. These are optional, but highly encouraged as they are imperative to our learning. Of course, we love hearing what you think is going well. Moreover, if there is something you want to see improved, please share it. As this survey is anonymous, we encourage you to share as detailed of feedback as possible to best guide any follow up commitments that are captured.
It’s important that we get a high volume of participation in these surveys in order to gain the most accurate data. We feel it is so important that for this upcoming survey, we will be celebrating high participation by giving $100 to each team with at least 90% team responses to be able to gather and have some fun together! Please note that while anonymous, in order for your response to count towards your team’s participation percentage, you will need to disclose your work location.
Once it launches, this survey will run for two weeks. Team Leaders, please take a moment in your upcoming administrative time to add reminders about this survey in team communication and team schedules.
Rachel Perik, Director of Employee Care (Teams & People Team)
Wins & Shout-outs:
- 6/6 – Hailee Wallner
- 6/10 – Keegan Kasten
- 6/11 – Kensington Naze
- 6/14 – Gretta Zellmer
- 6/16 – Jocelyn Marin
- 6/16 – Alex Plyer
- 6/19 – Aneline Garvey
- 6/25 – Rachel Shea
- 6/26 – Litzel Saavedra
- Hailey Barsch – 12 years!
- Adelie Content – 2 years!
- Noah Culbreth – 3 years!
- Meghan Gross – 4 years!
- Joelle Kenyon – 2 years!
- Sarah McGoveran – 2 years!
- Melissa Perez – 8 years!
- Kaylee Pikula – 2 years!
- Mara Rugen – 1 year!
- Jes Rutherford – 4 years!
- Joseph Steiner – 5 years!
- Jay Sumler – 1 year!
Eli Miller – Oconomowoc (Welcome back!)
Daniel Mahrt – Baker
Employee Discount Codes:
Please don’t share these with non-employees
- 20% Employee-Only Website Coupon Code
- June: Jun2023sccemp
- 40% Employee-Only Mobile App Coupon Code
- June: Jun2023sccemp
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Ways to Speak Up:
Do you want to speak up about ideas, thoughts, and more? Send an email to Teams & People (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the button below to send a note anonymously.