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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Perspectives: Taking Stock (Nov. 2014)

Sara Merz, Director

Sara Merz, Director

Ten months into my dream job, I’m thinking about where we are, what’s working and the vision for growing into a collaborative with an even bigger impact. And as the holidays approach, some of our attention shifts to our personal lives, family time and reflection. It’s a good time to take stock.

I’m proud of AHA’s accomplishments, and I’m thrilled with our partners.

We’re working on stepping it up, but building in time to assess what’s the very best outcome we can imagine, and how do we get there.  I say this because we’ve got a lot of pots cooking, and we move forward on our mission with busy days, fueled by enthusiasm and at times adrenaline. I’ve noticed when the schedule is too packed and I think I’m doing the most, I have less ability to be planful and think big, however.  So I’m taking stock and making some space to breathe. Interestingly, as I was slowing down, I came across an article I had saved on a highly successful health initiative, taking the policy, systems and environment approach, in another community. It’s giving me ideas for our community, right as I was thinking, “we need to think bigger.”

I also just read an article on how Warren Buffet recommends focusing on your five most important goals, and not splitting your attention on what’s lower on your list. The most important thing, he says, is to control your time. Perfect timing as I take stock!

I am also reminded of a story of Henry Ford having someone come to his office to observe operations. He gave good reviews except to one person, who he said wasn’t doing anything. Brilliantly, Mr. Ford said, no, that was his best employee, who came up with the best ideas.

So here’s to a hybrid model of focusing on the most important things and making enough space for the best ideas and plans to come together.

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