When we moved into our office space at 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, the very first thing I did was have a quote painted on the wall right outside of my office:
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
I have read those words, from Nelson Mandela, nearly every weekday morning since 2014, just as I step into my office to start the work day. It’s my constant and intentional reminder of the power and influence that good communication can have, especially when the pace of life can make real connections feel hard to come by or—in the case of this year—when the state of our national discourse feels too much to bear. But there’s something in those words that always brings me back to what I firmly believe, and to why I do the work that I do.
I believe that communications can change the world. I believe that when people connect with one another—often across whatever divides us—real, positive and lasting change happens. Whether it is advancing a critical piece of legislation, inspiring a movement, educating young students, or building bridges between cultural divides, positive change happens through communication.
But belief, while an important ingredient, is only half of the equation. One most act on those beliefs in order to realize their magnitude, which reminds me of another guiding quote, this one from Mahatma Gandhi:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
As I prepare to enter my 14th year in business, and our first anniversary under the new umbrella of Mission Partners, I can honestly say that entering every day with my core belief top of mind has allowed us as a company to lead with purpose. And leading with purpose has allowed us to build a company beyond belief: a company that drives every decision with heart and head—a company that can say ‘what we do, for the good of others,” without even a second of pause. A company that goes further to get at the heart of our work, and sticks with that work until big breakthroughs are realized, because our heart’s in it too.
In this season of gratitude, I simply pause to give thanks for the people who drive me, the organizations that inspire me, and the daily routine that has become my “work.” It is, truly, beyond belief.