The Real Victims of Our Cowardice
In the past few weeks I have used strong negative language:
Please understand: this is not an emotional reaction on my part. Instead, it is an intentional effort to call you out. And it is this "intentionality" that I encourage you to undertake as well. It is time we, as a profession, called out our "NaySayers" and detractors, our "doom and gloomers."
Have I made you angry? I cannot say I am sorry. You should be angry. At least I have created some emotion and out of that emotion may come some resolve and out of that resolve may come some action.
This past two weeks have taught me the difference between sadness and discouragement.
Thankfully, I am not discouraged. But I am sad. Very sad. And sadness has an effect...an enervating effect.
I am feeling your pain.
That pain comes from having the answers to your client's questions but facing an increasing number of people who are less and less interested in answers. I have that same pain. In most instances, I know what needs to be done to turn a business around. A bold statement? Really? In most instances, you know what needs to be done to best help a family. Likewise, my experience and training enable me to know what needs to be done to solve most business problems. In my case, if it is a parallel, our profession seems fixated on a direction that, for more than 30 years, has produced only more of the same...decline. I have learned that tact and diplomacy can work; but not often. So, I have chosen a tactic that I think you should adopt as well: Boldness. After all, most of you have lost so much ground that you can only gain.
My sadness comes from the awareness that I can't win them all. My optimism, though, comes from my unwillingness to give up. My willingness to fight for what I believe. From the cold, stark fact that I know that if I give in (even just a little bit) the battle is lost. More important, though, is the experience that the more I am willing to take a stand the more I win...some.
I believe in giving back and so was recently honored to serve as Chairman of the Funeral Service Foundation.
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