Growing up, like many families in the late 70s/early 80s, we had a poem on our wall -- the Serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change/Courage to change the things I can/And wisdom to know the difference.”
Sure, looking back on it, it seems a little odd. I mean, we weren’t a particularly religious crew -- especially when church conflicted with my dad’s burgeoning passion for golf -- but, like most religious statements and ideals, it represented just good, common sense.
I was thinking about that, as we approach this evening’s Business Achievement Awards event. I’m honoured to be part of a contingent that will be in attendance tonight as Digital Echidna is again a finalist for the Business Achievement Awards’ large business of the year award.
Now, let’s be realistic, it would be awesome to win. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that bringing home that award would be much more fun than not (as, unfortunately, was the case last year). However, the reality is that we can’t change which company’s name is on that envelope. And, by all rights, the AM Group of Companies are worthy recipients of the award and some great competition.
So while we’re going in hoping to win, ultimately, we know that moment when the envelope is opened won’t change our path.
Instead, we’re focusing on those things we can change -- and using the wisdom gleaned by years of experience and learning to know where and what we can impact.
I believe that’s part of the reason why we’re back-to-back nominees in this award. It’s why we are previous winners of the London Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Social Responsibility award. And it’s why we’ve been recognized by various organizations over the years. We’re recognized because, somewhat paradoxically, we don’t seek out recognition.
Awards we can’t control; effort and quality we can.
I’ve been with Echidna for six-and-a-half years now. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of its growth. We’ve built upon a solid foundation to continue to expand our reach, our delivery, and our markets. We’ve gone from working with smaller businesses to working with key healthcare and education clients, and multinational organizations. We’ve firmly established ourselves as leaders in open-source technology, Drupal development, Drupal training, accessibility, and user experience -- all based upon our unrelenting focus on delivering a positive customer experience.
We have succeeded because we recognize what we can control and focus on those efforts.
That doesn’t mean we take a fatalistic approach to life. We can’t ultimately control what people think about us, but we can influence their perception based on the way we conduct ourselves -- by being honest, by living up to our promises, by being genuine in our interactions, both in the business community and with our charitable and volunteer efforts.
Just this weekend, London hosted the Junos, and I think its success reinforces what I believe for our company and our city. In London, we often focus on what we aren’t -- we aren’t Toronto, we aren’t Kitchener -- when, instead, we should focus on what we are and how we can be the best London we can be. The Junos generally go to larger cities, but London -- led by Friend of Echidna Chris Campbell -- showed that we can put on an equally powerful show. Not the same as Toronto or Vancouver, but just as good.
Instead of worrying about what others thought, this crew focused on what London can bring to the table and how we can use what we have to its fullest. If we spent our time lamenting about who or what we aren’t, the event would have failed. And you can say the same for past events like the World Figure Skating Championship and the Memorial Cup.
External validation is great, but it’s not the motivation. By focusing on what we can control and being the best Echidna we can be, we’ll continue to grow and flourish. And, ultimately, the most important point of view is that of ourselves and our staff -- are we proud of what we’re doing? Are we happy with the quality of our work and our service to our clients?
No award can validate or invalidate that. So while we honestly hope we hear our names called tonight, either way, tomorrow morning we’ll wake up and continue to focus on the things that we can control. And we’ll continue to take pride in who we are, what we do, and work towards being the best Echidna we can be.