Happy New Year! All of us at the SME-International home office wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2002!
The year 2001 brought us heartache and loss, but it also brought us a sense of renewed purpose and vigor to protect freedom and displayed leadership attributes that were previously unknown. It reminds us of the anonymous quote "Tribulation doesn’t develop character, it reveals it."
The world of 2002 doesn’t need a new sense of direction, but a strengthening of the values that built the free world. Countless thousands of men, women and children have made significant sacrifice to expand the boundaries of the free world, even to the extent of losing their own lives. Millions of others have risked everything to reach the shores of these same boundaries, embracing the ideals, challenges and obligations that freedom brings.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 awakened a new generation to the terrors of war and the value of freedom - freedom of expression, exploration, worship, work and enterprise. It also awakened a more mature generation to the fragility of these same freedoms and a new awareness that the price for freedom is not paid once in a lifetime.
Like the world at large, SME-International doesn’t need a new sense of direction for 2002, but a renewal of the values upon which our organization was founded will provide direction that is sure and true.
Drawing on the expertise of the founding chapters of SME-International (dating back to the early 1900’s), visionaries Raymond Bill of Sales & Marketing Management and Thomas Watson of IBM, established the five founding principles of SME-International. One of the values entrenched in our mission statement is the support of Free Enterprise.
Although not listed on any balance sheet asset column as a line item, nor assigned a monetary value, without it, a balance sheet would not exist in the free world. Assets would have no value for the individual. Like freedom itself, Free Enterprise has a price, which is not paid once in a lifetime. Contrary to its name, Free Enterprise is not free!
As a community of sales and marketing professionals, SME-International members are duty bound to support and protect one of the most valuable assets we have – Free Enterprise. As the New Year unfolds and we commit to our personal resolutions, it is an appropriate time to put a value on what Free Enterprise means to our business, employees, families and community at large. Enjoying Free Enterprise has an obligation. What is your price to keep it?