By Karen Audet
A brand new volunteer board of directors was recently elected to the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce, and with it, a new pool of ideas, strategies, and leadership skills from which to cultivate and intensify our commitment to the business community. It is with gratitude that I thank our outgoing directors for their many hours of volunteer dedication during their tenure, and extend a warm welcome to my new “bosses” whom I look forward forging new working relationships.
I know that many people recoil in horror at the very thought of implementing “change” into the fabric of their lives. Our daily routines are sacred. Imposed change can be frightening and overwhelming. But what I’ve learned over my many years of experience, is that it is easier to embrace change than to try to oppose it.
Opting for the popular “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage doesn’t usually stop the wheels of progress. And deep down we all really know that the only thing constant is change!
Shaking up the status quo with a positive attitude reaps benefits beyond keeping stress levels from reaching new heights. Venturing outside of our comfort zone allows room to sift out stale or substandard processes. It allows room to learn something new and grow both personally and professionally. Change can create improved infrastructures, new partnerships, and can provide opportunities to build new levels of sales, service and productivity.
While it’s not always easy to stray from what’s “tried and true”, without change, absolutely nothing would happen.
Greater Fort Erie is definitely deep in the throes of turbulent times. While we mourn the closure of our most recent business casualty, OLG Slots, we must be brave enough to move forward with the same determination and pride we have demonstrated in the past when faced with adversities of such historic closures as Horton Steel, CN Rail, Irvin Industries, etc.
Together our business, civic, educational, and political leaders must communicate effectively and jointly handle the reigns of change to create and implement revolutionary ideas, welcome opportunities, and embrace new business strategies.
Perhaps we should prescribe to American writer and pastor Warren Wiersbe’s Four Lessons of Life: 1. Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. 2. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy. 3. Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped to get you higher. 4. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.