Three Lessons from an Unexpected Success

Three Lessons from an Unexpected Success, by Jamie Hansen

I will never forget March 15th, 2019.

Ryan and I were in Orlando, just about to fly home from a John Maxwell Team conference. Typically, these trips send us home inspired and invigorated, but on March 15th we were glued to our phones as we read news reports and texts from friends and family in Nebraska. A cold, snowy winter had abruptly turned into a warm, slushy spring, and eastern Nebraska was facing once-in-a-generation flooding. As my phone pinged with each new message from home, we heard the stories of neighbors evacuating and it became clear that I would not have access to my house after we landed in Omaha. In the next few days, I learned that I had gotten off easy.

At some point during the following week - between slipping past roadblocks and helping neighbors move back into their homes - Ryan and I had the same idea: Alloy should organize a golf fundraiser to benefit flood relief. We had a format from our Leader-Chip events, and that was about it. However, with some help from an amazing group of partners, we organized an 18-hole scramble for more than 100 golfers and generated over $16,000 for the Flood Relief Fund of the Valley Days Foundation - in three weeks.$16,000

If I'm being honest, we never expected the event to be so successful. We were blessed with an amazing response from our community and from key individuals who were excited to get involved. What's more, the experience taught us some incredible lessons, and we would be remiss if we did not share those.

When Opportunity Knocks, It's Too Late to Prepare. 

This line from John Wooden was ringing in our ears after the fundraiser. No one expected the devastation that arrived in March, and there was no way to know that we would spend most of April planning a fundraiser that was not scheduled until March 29th. All we had were the skills, experiences, and relationships that we had previously forged. If a door opened tomorrow, what would you be prepared to bring with you?

Know Your Why, and the How Will Follow.

Our Alloy team loves to teach on personality styles, and let me tell you that organizing this fundraiser was a prime case study. Ryan and I have opposite styles - where I approach a project by first considering the people involved, Ryan first considers the tasks that must be accomplished. You can imagine the stress this can cause in event planning. Despite our opposing approaches, we always came back to the underlying Why: organizing an amazing event to benefit our neighbors. No matter what chaos struck our office during those three weeks, the power of this unified purpose kept us on track. It was a reality check for me - when things get crazy and the team is losing faith, a strong dose of purpose might just be the solution.

Get the Right Team, and Watch What Happens.

After the event, when the golfers had all gone home and the tables had all been cleaned up, Ryan looked at me and exhaled, "I can't believe we pulled that off." We all laughed, but we knew the truth: it wasn't us. Fairways for Flood Relief never could have happened without the support of so many key people, from sponsors to golfers to volunteers. Special thanks are due to Don Dravland and Mike TenEyck from The Pines and Cindy Grove from the Valley Days Foundation for letting us partner with them, and to Dr. Dan Dana for flying up from Florida to share his message with our group. This was a team effort - even my parents and Ryan's wife stepped in to help! - and really an amazing display of what a group of dedicated individuals can accomplish. I will always remember this event as a perfect example of what is possible when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

We have been so humbled by the results of the golf fundraiser, and we are immensely thankful for everyone who reached out to support the effort. As we shift back into our "day jobs," we are blessed to go forward with the lessons learned and relationships built from this unforgettable experience.

Alloy Solutions is a team of professional coaches, speakers, and trainers ready to elevate your team. For more information on teaching, training, and upcoming events, contact our Solutions Team or visit


Our Insights, Sent Straight to You

From blog posts to training tips and our latest employee development courses, it's everything you want from a newsletter.
Complete the form below to subscribe.