Chairman’s Message: Independence

Posted by Chris Means on 7/6/23 1:00 PM

Chris Means-1

I hope you all had a wonderful “4th of July”! I’m using quotation marks to emphasize what I hear most people say these days. But how often do you hear anyone say “Happy Independence Day”? How many people remember celebrating the day of our independence from the British rule of law? Because of this the name is important, for it reminds us we are a nation of independent people. When the day becomes just a number, the holiday is nothing more than a big picnic and party day. I’m amazed how many of my patriotic friends fail to greet others with Happy Independence Day! Independence is such an important characteristic that it needs to recognized and encouraged by leaders of business, family and sports.

Great business leaders recognize independence and courage in their employees and allow them the independence to make important decisions without excessive scrutiny. In this new business era where employee retention is difficult, or the recruitment of new talent is seemingly impossible, allowing an atmosphere of independence empowers team members to feel trusted and appreciated for their expertise and contributions.

In families, developing independence means giving your children the chance to make decisions on their own in graduating levels of importance as they grow. Independent children learn to take responsibility for their actions, if handled properly by parents.   They learn that independence has a price associated with the decisions they make. Parents can teach their children that good decisions result in rewards while poor decisions have penalties. That is how children become independent adults.

In sports, good coaches let their best players make independent calls on the field based on their view of their opponents. For example, Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes can independently read a defense and make game-changing decisions on the fly.

In developing and encouraging independent leadership, whether it be business, family, or sports, there also needs to be an expectation of discipline and accountability. In business, allow your creative and disciplined team members to have the independence to act. However, recognizing that they may make mistakes for which they will be held accountable.

Independence Day should continue to remind us that our nation was built on the strong spirit of independence. So in the spirit of the celebrating our county’s Independence Day, let’s all be grateful for the independence for which our nation’s founders fought. And let’s delegate more to the talented people around us to bring independent thoughts and actions to our businesses. That way we can all grow and have more reason to picnic and party on the 4th of July and say “Happy Independence Day!”


Until next time,


Chris Means

NASGW Chairman

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