If you've ever wondered, this is what I look like on a long conference call.
The phone lines to my desk are overheating with all the conference calls lately. A few weeks ago an industry association merger fell apart into small, non-re-assemble-able bits, like when you drop a mug of something hot and steamy off the top of a ladder (don't ask) and what is left is a big brown spot and a lot of something that was once mug.
The good news (there is good news here) is that quite a few people from both organizations want to work together to create a third entity. Because I am impulsive and tend to over-commit, I volunteered to lead the charge.
So far, it has been a long and arduous process, but the good news is that a lot of industry leaders who were not members of either organization are coming forward. An executive from one of the larger paddlesports companies told me she'd be right there with me to get this thing going. A few other brave CEO-esque souls also offered their support. A dozen people on the newly-formed Paddlesports Industry Leadership Council are with me too.
So let's see...that's 584 to go. It's gonna happen.
Not that this will be an easy task. Naysayers are omnipresent, though far from omniscient. This never fails to surprise me. It's not so much the number of naysayers, but their persistence. "We tried it before, nothing ever works, everyone has a hidden agenda, it's all a vast, governmental conspiracy, man..." Et cetera, and so on.
The good news is that one can neutralize the average naysayer. It used to be that you could kick the soapbox out from under their feet and they take their leave faster than a heckled Hyde Park preacher. Since the soapbox is virtual these days (any idiot can foist his opinion on the world with just a few clicks), it's tough to keep them silent. What I've found is that overwhelming them with positiveness makes them grumpy but silent. To steal a mantra, "Yes, We Can."
The world is, despite its issues, full of good people who want to get things done. The vast majority of them want good things to happen and they do not expect any credit for it. I am amazed at the number of good people I have met in the past few years who are completely committed to the greater good, putting no thought to enhancing their status or advancing their personal agendae. That makes me optimistic for the future.
Cannons to the left of me, cannons to the right of me,