Charting a New Course Day 006: Risk & Sacrifice

(By Mike Raftery)

Sometimes this all seems a bit small.  This weekend we took an extra day to remember our nation’s 239th birthday.  An extra day.  Seems like a nice benefit, but I heard a stat today that Americans get 10 days less vacation, on average, than the rest of the world, and most of us don’t even take full advantage of that.

It’s easy to get lost in the job while you’re doing it.  Every issue seems mission critical, every requirement a do-or die, and each test script is a battle of its own.  But it’s not really.  I mean, each job and each client is important, but not really.

We all have family, or friends, or friends of friends in the military. Even if it’s not the US military, the pride is still transferable.  When you take a moment and think about the hills people have climbed, the battles (literal battles) fought, and the sacrifices made, it’s quite humbling.  We think sacrifice means an early flight, or a few extra hours spent working at night.  But really that’s just an inconvenience.  Aside from working away from our families, there’s nothing that compares to the sacrifices that those that came before us really made.

It would be cliché to do a blog about patriotism, duty or service.  There’s nothing I could say that hasn’t already been said or thought.  But this is a blog channeling the journey of transforming the company, so let’s take it in that direction.

When I thought about all this patriotism and pride, it made me think about what we do for a living.  Business, specifically consulting, seems small.  And that makes me a bit fearless about the whole endeavor.  Whether we succeed or fail, win or lose, each pitch, does it really matter?  We still get to come home, hug our families, have a beer with our friends, and enjoy a night out.  These are luxuries that those who fought for our freedom never had.  If they failed, they failed.

So as we mark the half year mark, and the real start of summer, I feel energized that we really can jump in with both feet.  What’s the worst that can happen?  We fail, get a hug and try again?  That’s a pretty good deal considering what we could be doing, or what we could have been asked to sacrifice.  So let’s go.  Let’s try like there are no consequences.  Because really, it’s just business; it’s not life.  Take a chance and take a risk.  I know we’ll be better off for it.

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