Take an outside view to find your organization’s true story…

Last week I had the honor to attend the National Vietnam War Veterans Day Observance ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the building of The Wall.

This incredible event was co-hosted by NextGen client Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and attended by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, members of Congress, Gold-Star families, and other military and civilian dignitaries.

It was a moving ceremony in a very solemn place. What struck me above all else were the personal emotions I felt as patriotic music played and one by one, the guest speakers shared their stories of resilience and perseverance. 

As a citizen I was grateful. As a veteran I was honored.  As a person I was inspired.

These men and women, who served during some of the nation’s most troubling hours, came home and sacrificed again amidst a changed country. They made sure the suffering of so many was not in vain.

The stories of how they changed people’s perceptions, changed the way our military now operates, and changed the way Veterans are cared for resonated with everyone there. Right then and there, their true case for support became obvious.

Sometimes an organization—like individuals—needs to step outside of itself and listen to the words it uses in public to find its true story to share with supporters. What can each of us do to gain a new perspective and share how inspiring the work and mission can be?

Tim Oleary, Managing Partner & CEO