From Our CEO

I love fall and especially a crisp and colorful October. In Nashville, TN where I live, we are fortunate to experience each season for about three months. As the heat and humidity of August waned and September reminded me that a respite was on the way, I could feel myself relaxing, looking forward to the need for a jacket instead of air conditioning.

As the greens turned to oranges and reds, I found myself in awe of the beauty. It’s tempting to move through life quickly, not taking time to look around. The fall colors seem to beg for attention and help me get out of my head. Appreciating the simplicity of a bright yellow maple tree gives me a mental rest as I notice only its splendor against a cloudless, bright blue sky.

What do you appreciate?

I write about this often and doing so has resulted in a deep gratitude for everything from being able to drink clean water from my sink to having a working vehicle to get to the grocery store. I think we often forget what an immense privilege it is to be alive in 2023 in the United States. Complaining about this and that can happen easily when we are not aware how great we have it, even when things are tough.

On this fall day, I appreciate all that it offers: the end of summer and the beginning of winter. I am reminded to be grateful for each phase.

At work, we celebrate the end and the beginning of our fiscal year; then, every 90 days we review each quarter’s achievements and opportunities to reflect and improve. What I’m not sure the work world really gets and incorporates into corporate cultures is the role of appreciation. We have an opportunity to improve our joy and awe in our work by reflecting on and communicating our appreciation for all it takes to do a job: the clients, the co-workers, the vision, the marketplace, the technology and so on.

When I pause and reflect on the magnitude of people and things that allow me to work in a job that brings me joy and peace, I’m in a state of great Appreciation. For a start, I am sitting in a chair someone made using technology someone dreamed of and then created and improved. As I look around me at the books I read and glasses I use to read them, the list gets longer and longer.

What do you depend on, expect, or take for granted – and what happens when you explore being appreciative instead?

– Becky Sharpe, CEO