Put Some Resolve in Your Resolutions

Courage and Determination Will See Your Agency Through Tough Times

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Bart Cleveland
Bart Cleveland
We recently had a holiday celebration at the office. Each person was asked to write a single word he felt summed up the agency's past year. Not surprisingly, our employees used words of a positive nature. That's the kind of people we have here. It's refreshing.

They were words about making the best of hard times and hanging together as a team. They were words of thankfulness for one another and having a job when so many friends had lost theirs. I thought it was a touching moment when one of our interns choked up while thanking everyone for belief placed in her. The scene reminded me that hard times aren't always bad. In fact, we need them. Bad times can give us the appropriate appreciation for things we take for granted. More importantly, it can steel our resolve to overcome adversity.

That was my word: resolve.

When I chose the word it was simply a gut reaction. I was proud that the agency continued to work toward the future instead of becoming paralyzed by fear. After stating my reasons for choosing the word, I reflected.

Re-solve. There was more to this choice than I first realized. The year has been one of obstacle after obstacle and yet we overcame each by solving and, in some cases, re-solving the problem. Resolve is not just determination, but action. It means you take on the challenge without hesitation. You will not be denied the goal.

Resolve means that no matter how dark the storm clouds, you're going to sail on. This requires courage. And passion. And commitment. Our employees are a very committed bunch. Sure, they worry about the economy and how we're doing, but they didn't let it affect their productivity. If anything, they worked harder.

That commitment has been demonstrated in many ways, but mostly in very good work, done under the toughest of circumstances. I'm proud of what they accomplished and how they worked harder than ever for our clients. I know we live in a "me" society, but that doesn't mean everyone feels that way. And more importantly, not everyone acts that way. Which is what I mean when I say bad times are good for us. It brings out the good in people.

I know hard times can bring out the worst in people too. Be it stress, or anger, or just frustration over making a lot less money. I've seen some of that this year. But not from the people I work with. In that case there has been a great deal of class.

It's an exciting time for our agency. We are going into the New Year with a lot of new work and I feel we conquered some of the obstacles we faced without losing momentum. My word for our past year applies to the new one. Resolve and resolution are kindred terms. That's why I'm excited about the coming year and the people I will work with to make it a much better one than its predecessor.

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