What is your company’s place in history?

By Mike Novakoski – December 29, 2015

Over the years I have met dozens of fellow company owners who are at the helm of companies with more than 50 years in business.

A good friend of mine’s business is more than 125 years old. The thing that each of us has in common is that we reflect only one generation of leadership. Each of us has had the honor of taking our company through a somewhat storybook journey that has all the makings of a movie. There is a dream, a call to action, villains, heroes, heartbreak, love and hopefully, if we succeed overall, a chance for a “happily ever after.”

In 2015, our company celebrated 70 years in business. There have been six key leaders who have helped to write and direct our story. This year, two of those leaders, the second generation Elzinga brothers, graciously offered to assist us in putting our rich history on paper by developing a book: “70 Years of People, Projects and Passion.” Do you know the rich details of your company’s past? Have you considered reaching out to your “historians” to capture and share their stories before the details are lost?

I can tell you firsthand that when a company shares, listeners may experience great pride realizing they are involved in something much greater than themselves. It has been incredible to learn how the hard work and dedication of those who came before us provided for the opportunities we have today. I love seeing the growth and progression of the culture we have spent decades making great.

Documenting our story through the book has been time consuming, stressful at times, and informative, but also very gratifying. Ultimately, the book has been written to respect and honor the legacy of so many people and their contributions to our company’s remarkable journey.

We will be working hard in 2016 to continue creating new and interesting chapters to add to our story. Who knows? Maybe 70 years from now we will have Volume II.

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