Freedom Isn’t Free

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Last week, we watched a C17 take off from Kabul, Afghanistan, with young Afghan men clinging to the plane’s landing gear, so afraid of their fate under the Taliban that they were willing to risk their lives for a small chance to make it to America.

Yesterday, we got the heartbreaking news that 12 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman were killed in a suicide bombing attack outside the gates of that same Kabul airport.

Freedom isn’t free.

We hear this a lot, but I think we forget what that statement feels like.  

This weekend, 13 families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands – are living a nightmare after receiving a knock at the door and being told that their loved one was killed in yesterday’s suicide bombing.

Freedom isn’t free.  

This week, no matter your belief system, I ask that you keep those families in your thoughts and prayers. Feel for a minute or two what they are feeling – the price of our freedom. I think it will remind us how grateful we should be for the freedoms we have in our country. Freedom so valuable that someone is willing to give their life to get it, and others are willing to give their lives to protect it. 

Last, let us pray that our leaders at all levels – political leaders and military leaders, strategic decision-makers and tactical decision-makers – have the wisdom, resiliency and steadfast fortitude to see this complex and chaotic mission to the most successful and safe completion possible.

Essayons! Semper Fi!

BJ Kraemer, President

Inspiring People & Places: Episode 19

Title: “AEC Leaders and Our Responsibility for Employee Engagement”

Episode Summary: BJ discusses Leadership’s responsibility for employee engagement within the AEC Industry. He also takes a moment to acknowledge the tragic events that took place in Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.

Host: BJ Kraemer, MCFA

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

Click here to listen online.

Get To or Got To?

“I will greet this day with love in my heart…I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.”
-Og Mandino

It’s Friday!! What do you GET to do this weekend?  

Did you see what I did there?  

We walk around all week saying, “I gotta do this,” and “I gotta do that.” Then, we are so excited for the weekend just to say “I gotta do this,” and “I gotta do that” again! Busy has become a status symbol in the workplace and society that we have lost gratitude for what we have and the opportunities we get to do in the process (and I would also argue we lose effectiveness).  

I was reminded of that this week, and it was a good refresher. Take the 6 minutes and watch this video. Shout out to my brother-in-law for sharing earlier this week. It is a powerful story of “get to” or “got to.”  

You see, we have opportunities in our lives – work or home, kids or spouse, friends or family, volunteer or otherwise – to make the world a better and happier place. Oftentimes, we are too busy to remember how lucky we are for what we get to do. If only we look at every obstacle as a chance to overcome. Every project as a chance to apply our talents. Every stressor as a chance to grow. Every workout as a chance to use our bodies. And every meal as a chance to enjoy food. 

I say this as a father of three under six, who rushes through bedtime and bath time routine more often than I’d like to admit. But it’s videos like this that remind me that one day I am gonna miss those moments and remind me that right now, I get to do bath time and bedtime stories.

Let this be a reminder to bring an attitude of gratitude to whatever you get to do this weekend or next week.  For me, I get to spend the weekend with family and friends.  

What do you get to do?

BJ Kraemer, President

Our People Are Our Brand

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
-Jeff Bezos

Today, I got an email forwarded to us from one of our clients. It was simple but to the point. Any time someone we work with takes the time to e-mail us, I think it speaks volumes about our team. This is a direct quote from the e-mail:
“Please let BJ know that we greatly appreciate everything MCFA is helping us with. We would not be successful without you.”

“We would not be successful without you.” Short but sweet for sure.    

In professional services, we are (or at least we should be) partnering with our clients to make their lives easier, their organizations more successful, and their projects done more effectively. At MCFA, we look at our client’s projects as our own. We look at our clients as people. People with projects, problems and busy lives, and we treat them that way. As people we can serve (white glove customer service), not entities to be billed.     

How do you approach your clients and their projects? 

To close with the words of Jeff Bezos, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

We are on a mission to do hard things well…are you?  

If so, let’s talk!

BJ Kraemer, President