Junior Achievers 2009

This past week I had lunch with some Junior Achievers, a group of students from grade 9 to 12 in Edmonton. Each with an idea on how to develop a business or product, through their effort and thought. I was thrilled by their enthusiasm and interest. I thought, even with setbacks and negative vibes from some of their peers and the system, on could not stop them if he tried. The traits that stood out the best was their enthusiasm and their ambition.

Ambition though, can be a double edged sword, if it is used the wrong way, it can limit opportunities and might have some negative effects. This, I mean, is strictly unbalanced and unfair personal ambition which is sometimes called greed. If the ambition is greater than the persons ability there is a high likelihood of tension and frustration. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead. Competition is a fact of life for both people and businesses. Yet some people who are completely pre-occupied with only personal ambition can be frustrated and consumed by unexpected delays, small setbacks to the detriment of the project and their own physical and emotional health.

Smart people soon learn that the most effective way to positive results is to be ambitious, not only personally, but for the team or organization. The more successful the team is, the more successful the individual is. Well balanced successful team members sleep well at nights, interact well in their family unit and contribute to the greater good of their family, business and community.

One of the Junior Achievers interesting developing trait was each member was challenged to altruistic responsibility to their fellow man. Each group had a plan to give either a portion of their sales or a percent of their profit to a charitable cause. It seemed to me that they have already learned not to envy their fellow participants and recognized that it was better to build a bigger economy and share the wealth, rather than fear the scarcity mentality.

On my drive home, I was imagining the opportunities our young, ambitious, talented people have right here at Freson. We already have an organization with a proven record. We are prepared to challenge, promote, recognize and share the fruits of your efforts. My mind started conjuring up fifty plus years of partnership beginning with Frank and Leo Resek, Pete Chalick Sr., Frank Darr, Joe Dobrich, Bernie Auger, George Haunholter, Lloyd Stevens, Paula Slobodian, Dennis Kryzalka, Lorin Vigen, Louis Bourassa, Ken Hamilton, Pete Chalick Jr., the present owner-managers and all the part-timers who have moved on to professions or their own businesses. What a talented group.

The world always unfolds as it should and we know that with every rite and opportunity there is a responsibility. The challenge is to make a difference in your world and you can do it right here in the grocery business.

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