Thanks to the shared passion and concern of Odessans, Midlanders, and others from around the Permian Basin a conversation has started. We have begun the process of coming together for our greater good and excellence. Indeed, the conversation has started. Some would say it never ended, some would say it’s been going on for quite some time and others might even be indifferent. But regardless of when it started, or even who started it the greater question remains, “What now?”
Indeed, the “What Now?” question is fair and relevant. All of us know that actions speak louder than words, but equally true is the reality that true change for the good takes time, is rooted in trust, and that trust is earned in the slow and steady, conversational effort to agree on a proposed path, take it and then keep improving upon it.
…true change for the good takes time, is rooted in trust, and that trust is earned in the slow and steady…
It has been well said, “If you want to be part of a movement you have to throw down the 20-year card!” Although we don’t have 20 years to improve some of our most glaring issues, we at least have to remain committed to the long haul of earned greatness instead of the short sighted occasional win.
7 Personal Actions
So, with the long haul in mind allow me to recommend at least seven things we can all do as we continue the conversation towards excellence and greatness in the Permian Basin.
- Raise your expectations: Expect, and deliver, excellence and greatness in all that you do at home, at work and every sector of life. We are not the best at what we do below the ground because of mediocrity and settling for second best. We can no longer settle for mediocrity and second best above the ground. Together we must raise our expectations and refuse to settle.
Together we must raise our expectations and refuse to settle.
- Refuse to blame anyone else anymore: It is always easy to blame others for what we perceive to be wrong. Indeed, others might carry some blame but unless we personally, and communally, decide to fix the problems we forfeit our right to complain and blame.There is plenty of blame to go around for all that needs to be made better. Now it’s time to get past the blaming and start working towards greatness.
…it’s time to get past the blaming and start working towards greatness.
- Reject apathy: Apathy in this conversation often starts with the following phrase, “They have already tried this!” To be certain, discussions about unity and greatness have taken place in the Permian Basin for decades; but is that a legitimate reason to not kick up the conversation again and keep pressing towards greatness together? Deciding it’s not worth it because someone else tried is really just lazy, and more often than not, just a fear of failure.
- Get engaged: Before we begin new things, we must all engage what is already going on. Each one of us must find our place to engage for the good of our communities and region. We must attend school board meetings. Keep up with the city council agendas, go to meetings, or even run for office. We must find a place of need and engage it. You might even have to become a nuisance, but that’s okay. As long as we keep loving each other and pursuing greatness together our differences can only drive us to greater compromise and greatness together. Which brings me to number five.
We must find a place of need and engage it.
- Seek first to understand then work for a common good: Stephen Covey said it best when he encouraged people to seek first to understand before being understood. We will never make progress at the extremes but rather we must learn to once again listen to each other and understand each other and then do what is best for all of us in the Permian Basin. This is our home and we must make it great together.
- Reject complaining and replace it with a commitment to make it better: It is so easy to complain about everything. Too much traffic. No good housing options. The schools are terrible. In fact, it is always easy to be the pessimist. Let’s change the conversation by rejecting complaining and replacing it with hope and action.
- Start where you are: You don’t have to look far to know where to start in the pursuit for excellence in the Permian Basin; just start with yourself and your circle of influence. Do what you can do where you are and never stop looking for opportunities throughout your day to day.
…just start with yourself and your circle of influence. Do what you can do where you are and never stop looking for opportunities throughout your day to day.
I have no doubt we are the kind of people that can transform this region into the greatest place to live and work in every conceivable facet. There will be plenty of nay-sayers and negativity but we can change that with the power of a dream, the consistency of a conversation and a shared commitment to the long haul.