Greetings. Today marks the 57th inauguration of a United States President. It also provides an opportunity to think about the history and promise of our country, and the challenges we face living up to our ideals in a way more complicated world than our forefathers (and our foremothers) ever imagined. And regardless of your political persuasion, the nature of our presidential inaugurations speaks volumes about the stability of our democracy–and the unique potential of our increasingly diverse nation.
Today also suggests the possibility that each of us can periodically (in this case every four years) take stock of where we have been, where we are trying to get to, and the best path for reaching our goals and dreams as companies, organizations, and individuals. To reflect on the powerful stories and rich histories that have brought us to where we are today. To take account of our real promise and the challenges we face in making it a reality. And to imagine a newer and more optimistic set of priorities that would challenge us to reach our real potential by working together with colleagues, customers, partners, and even competitors.
Who knows what the next four years will bring in Washington. We can only hope that our leaders on both sides of the aisle will seek to find meaningful compromise and even innovation in addressing the biggest issues we face as a nation. Because whether we are willing to admit it or not, their actions and inactions have a great impact on almost all of our enterprises…and on our ability as a nation to continue to be a remarkable source of energy, imagination, creativity, invention, hope and opportunity.
We win in business and in life when we decide to inaugurate our own fresh starts. And when we find the courage to get beyond old thinking in building a more compelling and shared future.