February 11, 2014
Atlanta Snowstorm = Reality Check
Last week, a rare winter storm left the city of Atlanta in shambles. Bitter cold, freezing rain, and roughly three inches of snow was just enough to cause the city to nearly shut down… and I was lucky enough to be caught in the midst of it all.
For 13 hours, I was stuck in my vehicle commuting from a Faith Technologies’ project in downtown Atlanta to my hotel (25 miles away). I had nothing but time on my hands, and being from Wisconsin, it was hard to believe a little snow could create such a disaster. Atlanta was unprepared to deal with the chaos that occurred, and those in charge were unable to make timely decisions to avoid catastrophe.
As I waited, I observed others in the same dilemma around me handling the situation by thinking not only of themselves, but how they could help others – complete strangers. Some people offered food and places to stay, others shared rooms, and some businesses even opened their doors to allow people to sleep overnight. People were helping people, and I witnessed some real “winners” – by any definition.
What is a winner? When you look up the definition, you’ll find lists of traits that winners possess that others might not (i.e. winners communicate well, while others might just talk; winners earn respect, while others might seek respect; winners fail a thousand times and eventually succeed, while others might fail once and quit, etc.). To me, a true “winner” believes in themselves, has confidence and a positive attitude, and accepts things for what they are.
This is especially important in a workplace setting. Faith Technologies’ name, for example, represents the strong “faith” the company has in its employees and customers. Our success is highly dependent on our employees mentoring, training and helping others to be successful. The majority of people I’m privileged to work with truly are winners. They work to make changes in a positive manner, while doing their best in life to help others be the best they can be. They do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do, and my hope is that they wake up each day with a sense of purpose. While they may not see themselves as winners – others do.
While the Atlanta catastrophe was just that – a catastrophe – what shined through was people helping people. People’s “status” in life did not matter, and everyone treated everyone as an equal. True winners understand their purpose in life is to help others be the best they can be, practice acceptance with things as they are, develop other winners and by doing so, become a winner themselves. Great organizations are made up of individuals working together to make others the best they can be. Be one of those individuals, and the options are endless.