There is No They

Across the country, Chambers of Commerce are community-minded business organizations and so it is in the greater Federal Way area. As we look to support the economic base in our region, I am struck by a simple, yet elegant truth in our program of work. There is no such thing as “They.” There is only “We.”

Have you ever been at your desk, developing brave, innovative ideas that could expand your client list, improve the delivery of service, or reach more consumers? Was the trajectory of your brilliance suddenly dashed with the thought, ‘they won’t like/buy it?

Have you ever wanted to network into an organization but stopped yourself because you think it is only for “them” and maybe “they” won’t like you? Or perhaps you feel frustrated to be part of a homogenous group that only looks and thinks and talks like you.

Of course you have. We all have felt that way. Often, the mysterious “They” is considered an adversary and so is feared and avoided and denigrated. These are bricks that build barriers to economic growth, that keep our businesses in silos, that hamper connections which stabilize our community.

The Chamber knows that once you realize “They” don’t really exist, creativity soars and commerce is unleashed. If we no longer fear the other—be it competitors, genders, or cultures—we embrace a wider marketplace, enriching our professional and personal lives. It’s why I have a passion for my job!

As community leaders, it is important to look for the “We” in our daily business. Do our committees and leadership teams include both men and women? Do our clients and consumers reach the wonderfully diverse population here in the South Sound? Are we working collaboratively with as many partners as possible for a long-term, long-range vision of success? Finally, are we shopping Chamber?

Because the Chamber is the “We” that has invested in this community. And I believe that, together, We Can Change Our World.