Full Contact Project Management
Thankful for Leadership
There’s an old saying: “We stand upon the shoulders of giants who came before us.”
This month, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is especially true – for our country, for her people, and for her laws, morals and traditions. And, it is as true today for mason contractors and their employees and families, as it was to those patriots and pioneers hundreds of years ago.
I want you to picture how, in 1620, 102 passengers plus a crew of 25 to 30 could possibly fit and live on a ship only about 113 feet long. They did that for a 66-day journey across the stormy Atlantic Ocean, and then continued to live aboard it during the winter for another four months.
Next, consider what in the world could compel this group to suffer this journey and its certain dangers? It’s hard to believe, but it was simply a desire to practice their religion freely and openly. These are things we now take for granted, some 400 years after the fact.
How badly must those Pilgrims have wanted these new freedoms? They were more than willing to risk everything. Such is the nature of freedom, be it of speech, press, assembly, religion or the right to keep and bear arms.
Add to that list the freedom to choose our own occupations, pick markets, hire employees, and run businesses. The freedom to run a business is rare around the world these days. But, we sometimes seem to take those things for granted, don’t we?
This November, too many MCAA contractors and their families are enduring the longest ‘winter’ that many can remember. And, believe it or not, it’s still a time of thanksgiving. I’ll bet you that, no matter how bad things might be now, you wouldn’t be willing to trade places with someone from another country. You still are thankful for what you have – or for what you once had.
Are you thankful enough? Do you have enough gratitude to fight for your liberties? The stakes are huge: Make it work, and enjoy freedom for you, your family and your employees. Failure means economic death. Talk about contrast! Just as the Pilgrims needed to get outside, plant something and hunt for food, so do we – choices.
Even today, as you’re reading this, we have troops in far-off lands, risking everything in the name of Freedom, in support of an idea: that all men are created equal. This was a new concept hundreds of years ago, just as it was at the time of the American Revolution. This had never been tried before. Even today, it can be argued that, in most places around the world, it is no more than an elusive goal, to those relative few who dare to dream it.
This Thanksgiving season, I want to encourage you to do a couple of things that might be new. First, send out Thanksgiving cards to all of your past and present customers. Why not Christmas cards? Most companies send out holiday cards during December. When you send out yours in November, you stand out from everybody else and avoid the clutter of being lumped in with all those others. Be different! It won’t cost you a nickel more to do this, but your ROI could be much greater. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind our customers of how important they are to us.
Finally, let’s give thanks for all those giants on whose broad shoulders we now stand. When we do so, we honor them all: Pilgrims, patriots, and all those who have made what we have today more than possible, and the many who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
As you read this, remember that we have tens of thousands of troops out there, away from their homes. On that same day, tens of thousands more first responders are doing everything they can to keep us safe here at home. And behind them are millions of civilian volunteers doing what they can to help. All of this comes from the simple idea of those freedoms we cherish, including that freedom to run our own businesses. It is, after all, a choice.
May we never take our choices and our freedoms for granted. Happy Thanksgiving!
Copyright 2011 Gary Micheloni
- 48November 2012 Full Contact Project Management Football, Family, Friends and Fundamentals By "Coach" Gary Micheloni November 2012 is probably the most significant month of this year. We have, by many accounts, the biggest, most significant election in decades. The country finds itself politically divided. No matter what happens, or who wins, I will remain thankful.…
- 42July 2009 Full Contact Project Management Freedom Pays! By "Coach" Gary Micheloni As you’re reading this, it’s probably around July 4, a time when the people of the United States celebrate freedom in a big way. From parades and flags, to military and fireworks, everyone celebrates our freedom. But what does freedom mean to you,…
- 40August 2011 Full Contact Project Management Now is the Time for Your ‘Dream’ Project management lessons learned from MLK By "Coach" Gary Micheloni July 4th was still a couple of days away when I began writing the column for this issue. Living in a military town and in the greatest country in the world, freedom…
- 38February 2011 Full Contact Project Management Lessons From Famous Leaders Learning from FDR and George W. on dealing with devastation By "Coach" Gary Micheloni Depending upon how you account for the time, we are at least two or three years into this “Great Recession” which has been plaguing our country, communities, industry, businesses and families.…
- 38October 2009 Full Contact Project Management Turnin’ 50 By "Coach" Gary Micheloni Coach Gary celebrates his 50th “Full Contact Project Management” column in Masonry Magazine. It’s been quite a ride, and I hope that we can do another 50. The best thing about the column for me has been talking to contractors and suppliers about…