I can’t even begin to describe how great it was to come together to officially welcome Brig Gen Hammerstedt at our Military Affairs Dinner last Thursday. As you are aware, “gathering” is one of the things we do best as an organization; and our ability to do that has been dramatically altered in the wake of the pandemic. Within hours of opening registration, we were at max capacity per the current guidelines. While it was incredibly frustrating to see 20+ names on a waiting list for an event that would normally accommodate 100+ attendees, I took comfort in these thoughts.

  1. Our community LOVES Robins Air Force Base, its leadership, and the men & women who work to support the war-fighter each and every day.
  2. You’re still reading our emails – lol! The take-away here was despite what we haven’t been able to do or what has limited us, our members still have a desire to convene – to be in the room where it happens, to be connected.

General Hammerstedt shared with us about her leadership journey, lessons learned, and pivotal moments in her career. She reminded us of a few key points that I believe translate to whatever your business or purpose is in life.

She drove home the point that “good enough today will fail tomorrow.” Read that again: good enough today will fail tomorrow. This takes me back to mid-March when most of us where doing “good” work in our business and community; and in the blink of an eye what we were doing was no longer working and in some instances, not even allowed.

In highlighting her priorities for the Warner Robins ALC, I found these 3 points to be most impactful.

  1. Deliver on legacy commitments. She was talking about airplanes; but whatever your core mission, product, or service is, make sure that you don’t lose sight of what your purpose is. Chase it. Deliver on your promises to provide exceptional value and service.
  2. Look to the future. Foster innovation, listen and collaborate. COVID-19 took so much, and it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have. But what did it give you? Your business? What new strengths have emerged? How can you build on those?
  3. Love your people. I think this was my favorite thing she said all night. Much like I imagine it is for you in your business, the work we do here at the Chamber is incredibly fulfilling – helping businesses, connecting the community. But for me, the reason it means so much is that each problem we help solve, each request we answer, and every opportunity presented to us impacts people – neighbors, strangers, family, friends, someone who’s life might be a little bit easier or future a little bit brighter because of work we had a hand in.

s you plan for the rest of 2020 (and beyond),
I challenge you to not lose your desire to connect with others. Seek opportunities to learn and be inspired. Keep the main thing the main thing, but don’t be afraid to continue to evolve. Some of you have made remarkable leaps during this unprecedented time, take those forward with you into more “precedented” times ๐Ÿ˜‰ I, for one, am thankful for the ways we were forced to stretch ourselves over the past six months. The opportunity lies in how we use this new bandwidth to make us stronger, more effective, more dynamic, and resilient. And finally, keep loving your people – your employees, your customers, your family, your tribe, your community – because at the end of the day, isn’t really ALL about the people? We can’t wait to see you soon!