August 2016

Ralph Salisbury

This month's blog is more philosophical than business oriented. It has been encouraged by a personal experience that brought me down, but in the end enlightened me. I hope the intent is clear.

Attitude: Use it to your advantage... Become a role model

Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, a popular book in 70’s and very successful movie in the 90’s, wrote shortly before his death “I am now face to face with dying, but I am not finished with living…Dr. Sacks certainly displayed an impressive attitude at a time many might feel overwhelmed and devastated. He was and continues to be a fine role model...

There is an important distinction between being concerned and being overwhelmed. ‘Concern’ can enjoy a position of flexibility to move forward; ‘overwhelmed’ eliminates flexibility. So what is it that pushes one or the other into the forefront of an individual’s awareness? I believe it is attitude; a way of viewing disturbing occurrences. Whether it be daily business challenges, personal confrontations with others, or a bombardment of negative news, we, as individuals have the ability to choose how we view each. We can allow it to control us, or we can choose not to allow it to control us. Situations that are beyond our control need to be viewed with an attitude of buoyancy or wittiness; an attitude that allows us to deal realistically with these situations; an attitude that may actually work to encourage an alternative to ‘control’ that may result in resolution.

In business, avoiding the reality of a situation accomplishes little. Acquiescing to the negative views of others rather than maintaining focus on what needs to be accomplished is just being nice, and ‘nice’ doesn’t work, I know from my own personal and professional experiences. Being fair and tactful while reinforcing the reality of a challenging situation leads to meaningful and successful solutions. “Recognize that being nice is an outdated strategy”, Harvard Business Review

So how do we discipline ourselves to not stray from the reality of challenging situations? Change attitude, lighten-up, understand that you can choose how you view challenges, and that this view can help to influence others to focus on the reality of the challenge at hand. Acknowledge that allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed is just that, a ‘feeling’. It does not have to be your reality. You, as an individual, cannot solve the problems of the world, you cannot change the way others behave, you can, however, choose the way you deal with each by acknowledging the ‘reality’ of each... Thank you, Alberta..., you were and continue to be a fine role model...

Impact continues to strive to be a role model for small businesses through product innovation, design innovation, and material innovation; through environmental responsibility; through customer service, and through generosity. Our Corporate Responsibility endeavors are impressive, particularly for a small business. We work hard to acknowledge the reality of challenges that face all of us in today's world, and believe our focused contributions may contribute, albeit in a small way, to eventual resolution for some of these challenges.

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