May 20, 2013 | Industry Events + Conferences, Leadership


I returned home from this year’s WINDPOWER conference in Chicago thinking about the new leadership at AWEA and all the discussions at the board meeting and on the podium about a new vision for the wind industry. I returned feeling inspired and hopeful that the environmental attributes of wind, not shared by any other energy source, would once again be discussed proudly. It’s time for the color green to return to our identity. It’s time for the wind industry to control its own destiny again.

Bringing industry inspiration into the workplace

This weekend I packed my bag and headed up to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to give myself space and time to write a vision for the company. The serene surroundings and the solitude provided the right backdrop to step back and think about our direction.

Setting the vision and charting the course for a company is one of the most important parts of any CEO or owner’s job. As owners or leaders, we must decide where we want to go. Of course, this can’t be done in a vacuum as we rely on those around us—our managers, our employees, our customers and our suppliers—to feed this process. And, just like our industry is reasserting its values and a new long-term vision, I feel it is time for our company to do so as well.

It’s a scary proposition, especially when the political world and the economic world are so uncertain for renewable energy. And yet, it’s exciting.  We’ve been through some hard times, but we can control our own destiny too. It’s time for some intentional thinking. I set to the task with optimism.

Bringing industry inspiration home

At one point, I took a break from my writing and thinking to look at the website of a resort where I’ll be joining a good friend of mine to help her celebrate her 50th birthday. The resort she chose is a fitness resort and after I logged in, I was asked to do a fitness assessment to help prepare for my stay. One of the first questions asked me to state my mission in life.  What do I want for myself?  What makes me happy? (And here I thought this was a break from long term thinking?! Now I have to write a personal mission statement too?) The past few years have been difficult for me, but I’m beginning to look toward the future with renewed enthusiasm. Do I know what I want?

It all fits together, doesn’t it? Whether an industry, a company or an individual, it’s important to think about what it is that makes us happy, that helps us thrive, helps us be successful and helps us move forward. Intentional thinking about who and what we are and where we want to go is healthy, necessary and smart. Looking forward, setting a direction, leading those who care about where you’re going—it all matters.