I have a believer and a non-believer in my household—a 7-year-old who still embraces Santa Claus in all his red-suited, reindeer-flying grandeur, and a 10-year-old who’s pretty much come to the conclusion that ”Santa” carries a Visa card and is snoring in the room next door. Just like that, the magic fades.
Reality is what we choose to make it.
I was in the HR offices the other day getting my SECC assignments, and noticed three glass trophies lined up on a desk. There were our “Best Places to Work” awards from 2002, 2003 and 2004. That started me thinking about what was really different today from then. I’d venture to say the biggest single thing is how we feel about ourselves. Otherwise, our day-to-day work lives are still about the same for most of us. I still like what I do on most days. I like the people I work alongside. They are mostly the same people. Our benefits are still good. Life, taken on a whole, is still a very wonderful thing.
So what happened, when did we stop believing in UTMB, in ourselves? It started with a well-intentioned effort to become even better at what we do. I think it started before Navigant, but they certainly peeled layers off our onion with tearless if not flawless efficiency. We spent a lot of time focusing on what wasn’t right. We did it so much, it became all we saw, all we talked about. It’s what we started believing about ourselves, and we drew in the community with our funk; they happily bought into our gloom.
Am I suggesting that everything is just perfect at UTMB, that there really is a Santa? No, Virginia. We do have work to do, but let’s not lose sight of what we already do so well, everyday. There’re a lot of good here: good people, good work. UTMB is what we make it, what we say and believe it is. Maybe all I’m suggesting is that we keep the door open to the idea that a streak of light in the night sky and the tinny, distant sound of a bell may still hold some magic.