For 15 years I was the Ambassador for Bubba Gump Shrimp. My primary duty was to be the diplomatic face for the shrimp restaurant to the public. What did I do? Mostly I sat on the bench and met the public. I’d speak with individual after individual about where they were from and what their life was like. I’d meet their family and friends. As a representative for the restaurant, my job was to make a strong, positive impression and leave them with a good feeling about the brand – and their life.
While I would mention the restaurant and invite people in for a meal, I never felt like I was selling. Instead, what I was doing was creatively engaging and providing an experience. I enabled people to engage with the brand. I permitted people to let down their guard. I allowed small groups to simply experience the moment. I was an ambassador – I was not a salesman.
Today I offer that same type of service to other businesses. Here is how it works.
10,000 foot view
- Serve as Ambassador for a business or corporation or corporate division
- Exclusive representation within an industry
- Internally focused to the employees and vendor partners. External representation within your specific industry
- Deliver minimum of 10x value/results for fees earned
5,000 foot view
- Special communication projects: Internal marketing campaigns; video campaigns; individual and small group interactions, corporate meetings and conferences
- Combine the corporate message with my own message
- Corporate Message: growth; recruitment; culture/values; work-life balance; hard work
- Steve’s Message: change leadership; constant change; life-long learning; Gumption; personal responsibility
2,500 foot view
- Work as an outsider/consultant
- Work on a project basis with the goal of creating an ongoing, 10-year working relationship
- Start small by satisfactorily completing a single, specific communication project. Then another. Then another…
1,000 foot view (Business objectives)
- Be the voice (internal spokesperson) for the CEO and leadership
- Work with CEO/leadership on strategic messaging
- Maintain consistent messaging from corporate leadership to employees
- Work directly with employees
- Serve as an outsider feedback loop between leadership and employees (strict confidentiality required)
- Be the ears for the CEO/leadership; be a voice for the employees
1,000 foot view (Steve’s strengths)
- Strategic thinking and message/event planning
- Connecting with people in a genuine, heartfelt way
- Balance long-term objectives with short-term realities
This is a subtle – yet significant – shift from my business model of the past 6-7 years. This is a consultancy model. It’s a project model that solves specific communication challenges.
Speaking and hosting are still part of the services that I deliver, but they are tools used to solve difficult communication challenges. ‘Gump’ is no longer the purpose, but an extremely valuable tool to achieve change objectives by breaking down barriers and resistance.
I begin 2017 with the realization that to best help my clients change, I needed to change myself.
Steve Weber is the Change Ambassador. He works with leaders of organizations that need an important change to occur quickly, with a minimal amount of pain, and with a maximum amount of employee buy-in. Steve helps leaders design change initiative campaigns and serves as the campaign manager for corporate change initiative campaigns.