About Vickie Sullivan
Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.
Written by: Vickie Sullivan | October 17, 2013
Let’s Shape Our Destiny
Think you’re the only one who is dealing with massive changes outside your control? Check out this article about Harvard University president Drew Faust’s opening of the year speech.
I was surprised to learn that Harvard University, the home of $31B in endowments, has financial pressures, too. Turns out that the endowments are earmarked for specific purposes and can’t help with immediate shortfalls. No one’s to blame — just outside forces, such as the economy, federal budget cuts, and globalization.
My favorite quote: “To ignore the forces of change or to hope or trust they will just go away, to imagine that Harvard is somehow exempt from the pressures facing others would be to surrender our power to shape our destiny.”
I’ve seen too many people surrender their power. I’ve seen too many people play small ball. Folks too busy arguing on LinkedIn over the value of a $25/month service when they could take that same energy and shape their destiny. Instead, they play defense thinking. “This is the new normal; it’s the xxx (insert “economy” or any other outside force).” And then slowly shrink, making their impact smaller and smaller.
Instead, let’s take a page out of Faust’s playbook. Acknowledge the “seismic shifts” out there. Acknowledge that challenges and opportunities look daunting. And then…get a plan, remember your purpose and keep plugging away.
It’s good to know that we are all in transition. Even the giants, such as Harvard.