Welcome to 2023!
The New Year often brings with it changes. As we reflect on our business goals, our personal lives, and the intersection of these two large components of who we are – it can lead to a desire to alter things. This desire is a catalyst to define opportunities to hone in on the most opportune areas of responsibility that serve us in business, our personal lives, and as we look to serve our community.
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce has an esteemed group of Board of Directors who serve our Chamber community. Each year there is a change inside this influential group as the NACC welcomes new leaders and says farewell to other devoted long-standing partners. Our new Board Chair, Adrian Aldrich has begun his two-year term, six new Board members began their tenure, and the NACC will continue to get the support we’ve grown accustomed to from Immediate Past-Chair Christina Caton Kitchel.
The NACC operates from one strategic vision: to move Business Forward toward an engaged, thriving community by being Your Advocate and Your Resource for Our Community. This is no small task we face, as a Board and Staff, when we see our responsibility as always moving the needle for business and growing as an organization to better serve our businesses and community. We have high expectations – our community expects the highest results – and each new year, that responsibility makes us look at how we can change and continue to lead.
I was recently at the DuPage County Prayer Breakfast where former Wheaton College Head Football Coach Mike Swider gave the keynote address. While I did make sure to tell him I am a North Central College Alumni and ‘Go Cards’ – many points of his speech resonated with me about being a leader and taking responsibility.
Coach Swider pointed out, “Don’t forget the responsibility of your position.”
I believe we all have a responsibility in the many facets of who we are; as a provider for our families, a role model for our children, a leader in our businesses, and perhaps a servant in our community. But, Coach Swider used a great example to drive home how you view and others can view responsibility, and even, the appropriate weight we should place on our shoulders when choosing to ‘be responsible’. He related it to football perfectly…
“A freshman makes a mistake, it’s one thing. A senior makes that same mistake, it wrecks the team. Same mistake.
A freshman makes a mistake, it’s one thing. The senior starting quarterback makes the same mistake, it kills us.
A freshman makes a mistake, it is one thing. The senior starting quarterback, captain of the team, makes the same mistake, you’re done.
I told those young men as they progress, don’t forget who you are.”
When we look through the many responsibilities that exist under each hat we wear – we can get lost in how to prioritize or even fulfill those responsibilities. The answer according to Coach Swider, “Don’t forget who you are in life – you only fail when you forget who you are and what you represent.”
When you think about your position in your business – are your responsibilities being met? “Don’t forget who you are in life – you only fail when you forget who you are and what you represent.”
When you think about your role at home – are you fulfilling the many demands of being a parent? “Don’t forget who you are in life – you only fail when you forget who you are and what you represent.”
Are you accepting the weight of your position – as an employee, parent, friend, or community member? “Don’t forget who you are in life – you only fail when you forget who you are and what you represent.”
This New Year, as we all assess what we are responsible for – “don’t forget who you are in life” so that you can continue to cultivate growth and encourage the success of those around you. “You only fail when you forget who you are and what you represent.”
We know who we are at the Chamber – and what we represent. We gladly accept our role.
Some of you may know I highlight a word a year, and this year it is responsibility.
(View Coach Swider’s whole speech here – it will surely inspire you, as it did me.)