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Our July/August issue cover features the Tucson Jewish Community Center, and its president and CEO, Todd Rockoff. During our interview, Rockoff shared the organization’s continued success is driven largely by smart decision-making practices.

When making decisions about anything — new equipment, fitness class schedules or community events — Rockoff follows three basic principles, and has his leadership team follow suit.

“Smart decision-making requires these principles: listening to your staff, making decisions collaboratively, and being willing to adjust,” shared Rockoff. “These are all essential elements to success.”

It’s important for your staff members to feel like their voices are heard. They often have good ideas that contribute to the organization’s success, and when given the opportunity, many can develop into very capable leaders.

“We provide a lot of opportunities for learning and growth for staff of all ages,” said Rockoff. “And we’re committed to listening to our staff, continuing to understand what we can do to make this a great place to work.”

And staff should be more than willing to give suggestions on improving their work environment, provided you’ve established a good culture in your facility. “That’s not always so easy, so you want to make sure you are listening to your team, so you can make that happen,” he said.

Another step toward empowering your staff is to practice collaboration. Yes, you’ve listened to their feedback — but when it’s time for implementation, does your staff get to be involved in any way?

“It’s all about collaboration — you’re not always right,” said Rockoff. “Together, we evaluate as best as we can for what’s sustainable, not just something that will be here tomorrow and gone in a day or two.”

But not every plan will go off without a hitch. Mistakes will be made — we’re only human. In light of this, it’s critical to adjust a plan to make it work, or set the idea aside until your staff and you can formulate a more feasible plan of execution.

“If it seems like you made a mistake, be willing to move on and not get stuck trying to make something that won’t ever work into something that it can’t be,” said Rockoff.

If you don’t already have set decision-making practices, following these three basic principles in your own community rec center can help drive your success.

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former editor of Community Rec Magazine.

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