Look at your organization today and ask, "What have we done well?" You'll be surprised at what you find -- modest revenue growth, job creation, new product development.
And when you quit listening to the partisan hype from both sides, blow away the storm clouds that have hung over this region since last year's presidential election and take a good, hard look at what business leaders are doing, you'll realize things aren't as bad as they seem.
Without question, the loss of jobs at regional stalwarts Hoover and Timken was a major blow to the region's labor, economic and tax base. And looming cuts at NASA Glenn pose serious challenges as well. But those are only three organizations out of tens of thousands, and many of the rest have stories worth hearing.
Our cover story this month focuses on Lou Joseph, president and CEO of The Brewer-Garrett Co. Joseph's story is about his rise to the top and the success he achieved by building long-term relationships. We're helping focus attention on the best this area has to offer rather than dwelling on the worst.
It's easy to talk about the bad things. They get our blood boiling, bring out our passion, create a rallying cry and, to be honest, "NASA cuts 700 jobs; community doomed" is a much jucier headline than "XYZ Co. sales rise 10 percent; 18 jobs added."
But that's the point.
In this quick-hit, ratings ruthless, 24-hour news cycle, we've been reduced to junkies scrambling to latch on to the latest tragedy and watch it dissected from every angle until its bled dry.
We don't have to accept it. It's just as important to make success part of our regular regional discussion. And whether it sells newspapers, garners TV viewers or gets the mobs mobilized becomes irrelevant when you cast away the façade and recognize success is achieved one job, one percentage point growth and one dollar at a time.
It's up to you -- and us -- to create that buzz and make the public dialogue meaningful. If we don't, we'll remain a nation of zombies, letting others dictate what's worth our attention.