In the early 1960s, a young upstart from Massachusetts said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” With that concise comment, John F. Kennedy challenged all Americans to get outside of themselves and look at how they can influence others. As the new chairman of the board of the National Glass Association, I issue a similar challenge.
Ask not what your industry association can do for you. Ask what you can do for your industry.
At the beginning of the 21st century, I asked myself if I wanted my company to grow or maintain status quo. Charlie Jones said in his book, Life is Tremendous, "You will be the same in give years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” It occurred to me that I had developed the habit of hanging around with the same people and listening to their “advice”. This limited the information and ideas to which I was exposed.
I made the decision to grow my company. I understood that I needed new ideas and networks to do this. Even though I had difficulty visualizing specific benefits and I couldn’t afford the extra expense, I made the decision to find sources for ideas and relationships that would get me out of the rut I was in. I had to DIG my way out of the rut. I did not know where to go, so I turned to the National Glass Association.
D: Decided to join
I: Investigated opportunities with NGA
G: Got involved
I knew that what I received was directly proportional to what I put in. If I paid the dues and remained uninvolved, I would receive nothing.
Evans Glass Co. has received benefits from my involvement. We have trained new employees with www.myglassclass.com and the Glass Management Institute. By attending GlassBuild America, I have made connections and discovered new software, machinery and products. We have sent employees to GBA and to visit glass companies in different geographic regions. The bottom line is that the NGA has provided new ideas and relationships that have helped us grow.
Initially, my thinking was limited to my company. Then, over time, my interest expanded to my local market and then to my regional market. Now I realize what happens nationally impacts my business locally. Because of what Evans Glass Co. has received, I feel a responsibility to give back. Call it my “call to duty”. I am just a glass guy that got involved.
Let me issue you the challenge. Get involved and give back to your industry. Together we can strengthen it. Will you accept your call to duty?
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.