July Lessons 7: Serving Gelato is a Winner

Abundance Accountability Respect


Over the month of July, I will share lessons learned from my ATB journey, post my retirement announcement effective Aug. 1. The accomplishments and extraordinary results at ATB over six plus years belong to many. However, the learnings I will share are exclusively mine. I hope you will find them thought provoking, and perhaps even instructive.

Story: I just had a chance to serve Gelato to teammates today, as a way of saying goodbye and thanks. It was really fun. It reminded me of other times in different organizations when I used to spontaneously walk around and pass out ice cream bars to people. The response from such a small gesture always amazed me. What a way to say, “I see you, I appreciate you, I know you’re working hard, and what do you want to tell me?” Two hours spent, and a great investment overall. Why don’t I do this more often?

Key Point: Review your schedule this past week. Please think about how many events in your calendar created more value than an “ice cream walk.” I bet the “ice cream walk” would have trumped 50 percent of other appointments in your daily routine. 

The reasons why I don’t do “ice cream walks” more often are varied. The main one though, is that I don’t put intention behind the act. I get caught up in too many so-called “important” things, including responding far too often to someone else’s agenda. It shocks me what people make a priority over connecting, thanking, and having fun with those that work for, or with us. The other day an executive from outside the company asked me how I could possibly spend a full day with new hires. Huh? What could be more important than ensuring people who are rookies deeply understand the company’s purpose and values?

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Make an “ice cream walk,” or facsimile thereof, part of your leadership routine. Once a week or month, do something that puts you in full personal connection with your team. Make it genuine and informal. Have fun. Perhaps make it a signature of your leadership.
  2. Have the courage to make the people connection stuff the real priority in your schedule.

Ice cream walks in Personal Leadership,


One Millennial View: If you’ve ever followed a company you appreciate on Instagram, it’s common to see these type of events light up their Instagram stories (along with their employees’ who participate). Something as simple as an ice cream walk is a sweet way to keep things from melting down.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis