Occasionally we all get a reminder that what we do in business, at its core, takes a back seat to things that are far more important. Brief moments, sometimes historic to the world, sometimes only to us within the realm of our own lives and struggles.
President Obama’s address to the country late last night stating that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by U.S. Special Forces was one such moment for me.
Some have said that celebrating someone’s death, regardless of the justice merited by the event, should not be undertaken lightly, and I agree. But the President’s announcement was both stunning and poignant.
In a rush I got taken back to 1983 and my time as a know-it-all, slightly rebellious 17-year-old kid at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
I remembered the people, the men and women I served with, the friends I met.
I heard President Obama’s report to the nation and wondered how many Navy SEALs, how many Army Rangers, how many Marines put their lives on the line to make it happen.
I thought about how many had died already to protect this great nation I am so blessed to live in.
Am I getting a little bit sentimental here, a bit maudlin?
But there’s a lesson to be found in moments like these, moments that come to us in such sharp focus, such vividness, that it forces us to reflect on what goes into the makeup of our lives, the things far more valuable than what can be captured on a résumé.
Who we are, what we stand for, our belief in the power of the human spirit, are more important than next month’s P&L report, or last week’s marketing ROI. We forget—probably far too often—that how we approach our business is often more important than how successful the business actually is.
Integrity is not dead. Treating customers with honesty and professionalism will never be passe. Looking for ways to be successful without sacrificing our values is the truest of entrepreneurial spirits.
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