My Mission Statement
Years after his presidency, Thomas Jefferson once reflected that our country’s “peculiar security is the possession of a constitution.” Personal mission statements are like a constitution: they focus on goals and, at the same time, daily realign one’s character with one’s personal creed. So they have both public and private components, each of which reinforces the other. I am inclined to share the public side, the “to do” side, with full expectation that the act of committing it to print will re-enforce its actualization.
Many years ago, while developing my business and in aggressive pursuit of knowledge, I read a treatise on chassis design. In the introduction, the author shared that this was to be his last effort in the racing business before pursuing a career in the humanities where he felt he had greater promise of affecting people’s lives. I paused when reading this to ask myself whether I, too, might have more to offer than what I had gained, however, it is not until now that I feel I have gained something worth offering. What I have gained is a lifetime of knowledge working on some of the most exciting engines of our automotive past. One mission I have is to record and share this knowledge.
Above every workstation in my business, I hung a copy of the printed guidance seen below. (For those of you old enough, it was inspired by the risers on the steps leading up to the front door of the original IBM building in Endicott, N.Y.)
Effective leadership in running a business requires mentoring. It passes forward accumulated experiential life wisdoms to allow others to stand on my shoulders to do better than I have done. Thus, a second mission is to continue mentoring. Whether it be through music, dance or mechanics, I carry the hope that the imprint I leave on the soul of another will be as favorable as the wonderful people who have left their imprint on me.
And then there’s the creation of a new life in Colorado. This will take all my talents, require an extraordinary measure of creative optimism, and more strategic planning than I probably possess. Thank goodness I am partnered in this effort with Rita, whose capacity to dream exceeds my own, whose good sense is tempered with good instincts, and whose joy in life radiates to those around her. Every day. There is no doubt that the process will widen our world view and educate us beyond measure. Wish us luck.