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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Urgency

Two Canadians die and end up in Hell. The devil decides to pay them a visit, so he walks into their room and sees them talking and laughing. Confused, he asks them why they’re happy.

They tell him, “Well, we’re so sick of the cold where we’re from, and this place is nice and toasty.”

The devil, annoyed, storms away and goes to Hell’s boiler room, where he turns up the temperature. He goes back to the Canadians’ room, along the way being begged by all sorts of people to put the heating back down. He enters the room to see the Canadians having a barbecue. Furiously, he asks them what they’re doing.

“Well, we can’t pass up this wonderful weather without getting out the barbecue!”

The devil realizes he’s been doing the wrong thing. He goes to the boiler room and turns it down until it’s at a colder temperature than ever seen on earth. He knows he’s won now, so he goes back to the Canadians’ room, only to see them jumping up and down in excitement. He shouts at them in fury, “WHY ARE YOU STILL HAPPY?!?!?!”

They look at him and shout at the same time, “Hell has frozen over! That means the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup!”

Webster defines the word urgency as “a pressing necessity” and it was American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn that said, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.”

In the book The Road Ahead, Bill Gates said that a secret to Microsoft success is they always think of themselves to be on the losing side, and this makes them strive to be number one every day. This attitude creates a sense of urgency that makes them work hard to survive in the highly competitive environment of IT industry.

Many students suddenly get a “boost in productivity” a few days before their assignments are due. Again, a sense of urgency is at play. These are just two examples of how a sense of urgency can work like magic. A touch of it can transform a person, a company, or even a country to be highly productive.

What is the enemy of productivity? Comfort. Once someone is “in the comfort zone”, they lose the sense of urgency. There is no reason for him to work hard and excel. People that are comfortable fall prey to the trap of mediocrity.

The success rate of third and fourth generation family businesses is dismal. The reason:  (in my opinion) the younger generations are already in the comfort zone (they were born into it, knowing nothing else); they don’t have the sense of urgency owned by the first generations.

Our country is like the failing third and fourth generation business – we have lost our urgency. Many citizens of the US are “in the comfort zone”. We must act with a sense of urgency. If we act – you’ll be amazed with what a sense of urgency can do- it is truly magic.

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