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Perspective from the beaches of Normandy

September 05, 2019

My family and I recently had the privilege of attending the Money Concepts financial planning conference in Normandy, France. What I found, while walking the area of Omaha Beach, is that it is difficult to put into words what happened there. If words could do justice (even though the words themselves would be dim in comparison to the events) … it would be the willing sacrifices that these young people made and their bravery which was put on display to stop the proliferation of evil. The memory of these sacrifices has been immortalized in that of the American Cemetery. The cemetery, in itself, is a tribute to the almost 10,000 men (and four women) buried there. 

While reading the book, “D-Day” by Stephen Ambrose, I found it interesting that when the first objective of many of the forces was completed (basically staying alive to reach past the beachhead), the units slowed down, and in some cases, stopped fighting. It is understandable though, as it was quite an accomplishment to get to that point. 

That passage made me think of business practices (as many of these war stories do parallel with events in our lives). Specifically, how many times have I reached a milestone that was difficult, to then slow down and feel like that accomplishment was justified in my “putting the brakes” on?  It happens more than I care to admit. In other words, am I being shortsighted in achieving one goal, to not have a goal and even another goal further down the road? 

Before I get too preachy, or I am standing too high on my soapbox, I do feel like there is time to rest and regather. There is time to reflect with gratefulness those accomplishments.  Many times, though, it is difficult to start that second phase of success. 

Another, more recent, leadership conference I attended had a speaker by the name of Craig Groeschel. He is the Senior Pastor of Life Church. What resonated with me in his talk was the acronym GETMO. This means, “Good Enough to Move On”. His talk tended to go hand in hand with what I had been thinking about earlier (slowing down after a first objective is met). Sometimes, it seems I become paralyzed by trying to achieve excellence, when really, getting the job done effectively, should be the goal. 

All said, it is good to surround yourself with people who give you the desire to become better and more efficient. These two events, this summer, helped me in that endeavor.