October 21-22, 2008
Association of Equipment Manufactures (AEM) – 2008 Product Support Seminar
New Orleans, Louisiana – Astor Crowned Plaza Hotel
As I walked the dilapidated streets of New Orleans’ ninth ward following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I thought to myself, “What kind of mental toughness would it require for one person, one household, one family, or one community to withstand the sorrow and grief of losing so much?” I began to seriously contemplate the courage and vision one would have to command to start over, charting a new direction for one’s future.
These people inspired me to learn how to look past today. Our future depends on what we feel and the faith we have in it. Not necessarily what we see around us.
When I returned to my hotel room at the Astor Crown Plaza Hotel, I did some soul searching. I considered what my call, my mission… my main objectives would be in future presentations to organizations around the world. It started to crystallize in my mind. My mission is to improve the quality of an individual’s contribution – personal, business, and social – to humankind. I want to minimize their exposure to negative, destructive, contagious, and self-defeating mindsets and attitudes that could derail their dreams.
This was the tonic that I needed to deliver on my major points to the delegates of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). It was a High Performance Sales College gathering of the Leadership Team within the global equipment manufacturers industry. I got such a buzz talking about the principals of good customer service, accountability, leadership, integrity, work ethic, change and culture.
At the end of my presentation I was pleased to hear that a large number of the delegates were staying behind in New Orleans to visit the torn neighborhoods, help build homes and improve the communities. This was done in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.
It was the icing on the cake for me to be a part of an organization that not only values the personal and business goals of their employees, but is also willing to encourage their social responsibilities for humankind.
Horace Mann stated: “We should be ashamed to die until we have made some major social contribution to mankind!”
Sometime today think about what your legacy for humankind will be.
Not knowing what your presentation would be like or how you would tie it into a TEAM presentation, you came through and made each one of us stand up and cheer…
I looked around the room a couple of times as you were presenting and I don’t think anyone else took their eyes off you (my apologies that I did so briefly). You had everyone’s complete attention. Everyone was on the edge of their seats.
Director, Donaldson Company