Just Like The Colonel.

It’s January, and every year at this time I get caught somewhere between looking back and looking forward.  From an organizational perspective I think it’s safe to say that in 2011, we hung on for dear life and stayed grateful.  We took some risks, said good-bye to too many athletes who passed away, and in over 100 New Mexico communities – we watched in awe as over 2600 Special Olympics athletes did what they do best.

No one really knows what this year will bring.  It’s hard to figure out who to listen to or what to believe, but inspired by the very qualities that I see in our athletes – here are three things that I am going to do and invite you to consider doing in 2012, as well.

Embrace HOPE.  And I don’t mean the wishy-washy kind of cautious optimism that comes and goes depending on the circumstances.  I am committed to a strong expectation that says there will be new possibilities and wonderful reasons to celebrate over the next twelve months and will do as much as I can to make that happen.

Pick your TEAM.  Playing with people you like can make life a whole lot better than playing with people you don’t.  Even in the worst of times and hardest moments your perspective and level of endurance can change when you are surrounded by people who are encouraging, kind, and live with integrity.  That kind of team can make anyone’s heart happy – and as we set our priorities and work hard to make them happen – be assured I am deeply thankful for mine.

Do chicken RIGHT.  Months ago we started working on our  next organizational strategic plan.  I met with a woman who asked me if I could identify ONE thing in my job that if done right, would have a huge impact and a broad ripple effect on our athletes. It got me thinking – about Colonel Sanders and his single-mindedness.  There is something to be said about keeping the main thing the main thing, and there is something to be said when we don’t.

I encourage each and every one of you to take the time to think about your 2012 and those things you will commit to.   I pray that moving forward we all stay hopeful – play together- and whatever it is that we choose to do – on behalf of our Special Olympics athletes – we do it right.

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