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Bid Welcome "Forward with Monica"

This blog is unapologetically focused on the future, not the past. It is meant to start a conversation with the community I love that helps each one of us consider the part we play in moving us Forward. It’s up to us, right here, right now, to stop apologizing and complaining and do something different. It is meant to spark constructive conversations that focus on the positive. So here it goes!

Cheerleader or Doubt Master?

After a morning meeting just a few weeks ago, a small business owner and friend asked me a question that made me smile and gave me an opening that happens more often than you might think. He asked, “How do you keep so positive about what is going on in Jackson?” Whenever I hear a question like this, I feel myself going into what I call full-blown “Cheerleader” mode. I can’t help myself. I get this uncontrollable urge, no matter what the circumstance, to be compelled to say something excruciatingly enthusiastic and optimistic. I have heard that the word cheerleader might have some negative connotations so I feel the need to over explain that I intend it to be synonymous with purveyor of positive energy, defender of community spirit, campaigner of constructive conversations, and champion of optimistic ideas. Yep, that’s me!

Now, in this instance, I made the case that with the potential development of the Hayes Hotel and imminent development of 151 and the Louis Glick corridor, the pending opening of a few new restaurants downtown, the completion of the Michigan Avenue utility infrastructure by the City of Jackson and Consumers Energy, the new street-scaping, and the expansion of Blackman Park, that Jackson is just about at a tipping point. “The Tipping Point?” he asked. Yes, the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change (thank you Google). He didn’t seem convinced.

I went on to talk about existing and new adaptive leadership in key organizations, for profit and nonprofit. He didn’t seem convinced. I continued to describe the unprecedented collaboration and cross-sector alignment in networks like the Jackson County Cradle to Career Network, the Health Improvement Organization and the Financial Stability Network. He didn’t seem convinced.

He was a particularly tough customer, so I pulled out the grand finale. I told him that I could just feel it in my bones and that, for me, it is a matter of faith, of complete trust and confidence in the people of Jackson based on a gut feeling rather than any direct proof. With this answer he smiled and nodded his head. Cheerleader duties accomplished.

Do you get asked this question often? Do you feel like you have to be the defender of positive momentum? I would love to hear what you think, but be warned, I reserve the right to ignore or remove anything negative.

Please share if you think this might be a useful message or part of the ongoing efforts to think, talk, and move Forward. #Forward #conversationswithmycommunity #fireupjackson #experiencejxn #jxnyp #jxncf

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