Where I Was on 9/11
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY SENT TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL LIST ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2015. FEEL FREE TO SUBSCRIBE.
How was your week?
This week school kicked off for another year (as you likely know). Parker is now in grade nine, and Anna Lili is in grade seven. The fall is a busy time in our house. The kids’ activities are in high gear and business travel typically picks up for me. I am off this coming week to Toronto for a few days.
How is your fall shaping up?
On Friday morning at 5 a.m., as I rolled over in bed to turn off my alarm clock, out of the corner of my eye I caught the date—September 11th. Immediately my mind went to where I was at the moment I learned of the terrorist attacks back in 2001.
I was helping an insurance company with their e-business strategy, and I was in a meeting with the steering committee for the initiative. It was mid-morning, and the sun was beaming in through the curtains of the meeting room. We had decided to take a break, and when everyone stood up I had bolted off to the washroom. As I returned I passed along the cubicle of the CEO’s secretary, Wendy, and she just happened to be loading her web browser that displayed the latest news on her homepage. There it was, the image of the first tower with smoke billowing out from the high floors. Within seconds we were all standing around Wendy’s computer trying to understand what was happening. We watched in horror as the second tower was hit and both towers tumbled to the ground.
The rest of the events from that day are a blur for me, as I am sure they are for many. I recall going home for lunch to see Jennifer and our six-month-old son, Parker, and comforting them despite not knowing myself really what was happening. I recall that on the return drive back to the office, as I crested the hill near our cities airport, I caught a glimpse of what looked to be twenty or more planes that had been forced to land there on their way overseas. I thought about the people on those planes and the likely fear they were experiencing, not knowing why they were in Newfoundland.
Not to diminish the fear that was going on in the minds of those most affected that morning fourteen years ago, this past Friday morning I found myself thinking about what would have been going through the minds of entrepreneurs and sales professionals in the days following the 9/11 attacks. Surely it could not have been easy to get out of bed and put forward the effort necessary to make sales. But, rest assured, there are those who did. There are always some who do, and they spring our economy and world back to life.
Despite the largest decline in stock market history (up to that point) in the days following the 9/11 attacks, within a couple of months the stock markets had rebounded back to its pre-9/11 level. With the stock market and company value largely determined by the demand for products and services, it is clear that some entrepreneurs and sales professionals decided to make it happen and create demand.
So, if you find yourself struggling to put forward the extra effort of will to make it happen, start by thinking about those who were in your shoes following the 9/11, attacks who knew that their families depended on them to go out and make it happen. It should provide enough inspiration for us all to do the same during these more peaceful times.
Have a great week.