Leave Things Better Than How You Found Them

Mister RogersI grew up with the simple value that you should leave a place in a better state than how you found it.

That’s the case whether it’s a kitchen, a conference room, the ocean where I sail and fish for recreation, or our  public Internet.

As we close down 2012 and look to the new year and beyond, I can’t help but think about the world we’re leaving for our children: their “tomorrow.”

Are we leaving a better tomorrow for them? Right now, I don’t think we are.

Like most, I’ve been preoccupied and praying for the families and community of Newton, Conn., a short drive northeast from my family’s New York City suburb.

The event has stolen some of my own innocence and feeling of safety. It’s in the back of my mind as I now drop my own two kids off at school — one a preschooler and the other a kindergartener.

If there’s one thing I wish for in 2013, it’s a global shift away from strategy, near-term gains and zero-sum ideology. I wish for a shift toward purpose and sustainability. I’d like to see this in government, business and civilian life.

It’s time to end compliance, compartmentalization and irresponsibility. It’s time for us to rebalance our levels of strategy versus purpose, and take responsibility for our tomorrow.

It’s up to all of us. We’re all one big value chain.

This article also ran in MediaPost.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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