Writing this year’s Labor Day newsletter, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I know the past six months have been extremely difficult. Despite the hardships and dislocation we’ve all experienced, I find myself reflecting on the strength and resilience of our friends, families and organizations.
I feel especially grateful for the leadership demonstrated by the global technology community. I truly believe that our confidence and determination to overcome all odds have made an enormous difference. Even when the prospects looked grim, we remained energized and optimistic.
From my perspective, that’s what great leadership is all about – keeping the momentum going, fighting against the tide and working tirelessly to overcome challenges and achieve essential goals.
These past six months have been a test of our character and courage. Frankly, I believe that we will emerge stronger and more certain of our capabilities.
If you have the strange sense that time has accelerated and is moving faster than before, I can assure you that you’re not alone. It’s become a common feeling, and it’s not hard to understand why. The pandemic has upended our lives, our families and our careers. In many ways, it’s not surprising that our sense of time has changed as well.
What’s important, however, is that we remain focused on finding solutions and strategies that will enable us to bridge the gap between our current state and our future state, without sacrificing or compromising the amazing gains we have made. Technology has elevated all of us, and helped billions of people all over the world in countless ways.
As technology leaders, we play essential roles in the development and implementation of the critical systems that drive and sustain our modern economies. Our responsibilities are vast, and yet I know we are prepared for the tasks ahead.
Compared to those who came before us, we are incredibly fortunate. The holiday we celebrate today was born at a time when most workers faced conditions that would be considered intolerable today. Here’s a brief excerpt from History.com’s description of the holiday’s origins:
“Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.”
Hopefully, you will have a chance to relax and reflect on this national holiday. Let’s count our blessings, and keep our eyes on the horizon. The future is waiting for us to build it.
I also want to say again how genuinely proud I am of the team here at HMG Strategy. Together, we made the pivot from in-person events to providing a full schedule of digital conferences and summits. Everyone pitched in, working long hours and weekends. Within a few short weeks, we made the transition to a new operating model. Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work. Enjoy this day!