Memory LanePosted by in Uncategorized
Yesterday I had a nice meeting with someone I had not seen in a while. To be honest, we didn’t part of the chummiest of terms. This person was around when I first came to HSBC nearly eight (really, eight?!) years ago and we went our separate ways in part over some of the major changes here which I brought about. And maybe a little because I was slightly less lovable eight years ago than I am now. Now I just giggle like the Snuggle Bear when you poke my belly.
This person reminded me of a question which had been asked at one of my job interviews. I was asked, “If you become executive director, are you going to make a lot of changes?” My answer was, “Yes.” Actually, I think I said I expected that if I was still here in a few years- and before I even had the job I figured my tenure would either be six months or six years and I wouldn’t have given good odds on six years- the Humane Society of Berks County would be unrecognizable.
You can say a lot of things about me but you can’t say I didn’t tell the God’s honest truth. Eight years later we are nearly unrecognizable from the organization I joined. From the foundation created by Lindy Scholar and her board, we have actually made the leaps which the people who hired me said they wanted to make. We have created services and programs which help more animals than ever. We are a recognized leader in program and service innovation. We have miraculously dragged ourselves out of the ever looming hole of fiscal collapse and bankruptcy. We are a model of what animal welfare and animal sheltering should be, not just in 2012, but a model for the decades to come.
Of course, making wishes sometimes gets you results you didn’t foresee. There’s a reason that the lesson of the genie in the bottle story is to throw it back in the water. There were more than a few who didn’t like the transformation that began to occur eight years ago, despite wishing for it. In some ways we gave birth to a whole new organization and, being father of three daughters, I know how hard a process that can be, even when you aren’t the person doing the hard labor. Like kids, you don’t know what you’re going to get when you recreate an organization.
After eight years we have become what we sought to be: bigger, better, and stronger. Like the person I met with yesterday in an attempt to mend fences (or at least straighten a couple fence posts), I hope those who didn’t like the direction their genie’s wish took them will at least be able to see that we are now, in fact, bigger, better, and stronger. With any luck, in a very short while we will be even biggerer, betterer, and strongerer. And even less recognizable. Keep tuned to this Bat Station for more on that soon.
Fred Eaglesmith says that a man doesn’t grow up ‘till he’s forty odd years old. I don’t know if it’s that or if we have simply gotten as far at HSBC as fighting will take us (or was required). Either way, I’m taking some pleasure in the fence mending I’ve been able to do with others who are of a like mind to do so, especially since its good for our work at HSBC. I hope they’ll be joined by a few others who might have parted ways with slightly bigger grudges.
C’mon, back, y’all. You know you want to poke my tummy and hear me giggle.