Yesterday I talked about how sometimes you are forced into taking positions on things, because silence is its own decision. Now the important correlary, once this opportunity presents itself, you must cease it like it is your one and only chance to make a difference.
Last week one of these opportunities presented itself to me...and I had no choice but to take it. The Kansas City Neighborhoods committee met regarding the dangereous dog ordinance and our group, Kansas City Dog Advocates was given special permission to speak for 15 minutes. The meeting was set up on 3 days notice, we got the invite for the speach on about 36 hours notice. I had assembled a presentation that I'd used elsewhere, and was familiar with the material -- and by the nature of my job, I was one of the few KCMO residents who was going to be able to attend on short notice.
Let me first say, I'm not the most likely candidate to do this. But the opportunity to do this was there and it was time to jump up and do it.
This is where the correlary kicks in, don't do it half way. I presented for nearly 20 minutes. I had details, I had slides, I had facts, I had applause from the audience (thanks friends!). I think it was very good. Kicking the bucket on this could have been devastating...It could have cost our group a lot of credibility. Instead, the total number of people who have joined our group has increased pretty dramatically, we have several media hits, and two positive articles on pit bulls have run in the media since then (I specifically called out the media in my presentation for their unbalanced reporting). We now have a big event with a special guest speaking coming in that will happen in 2 weeks. What is happening is pretty unbelievable.
Don't do things half way... you may never get the chance to do it again...so step up and do it right when the opportunity presents itself. Overdeliver. It takes courage, but it's important. I came across a quote last week from the FAst Company newsletter from Senator John McCain:
"You can live with pain. You can live with embarrassment. Remorse is an aweful companion...Whatever the unwelcome consequences of courage, they are unlikely to be worse than the discovery that your are less than you pretend to be."
Cease the moment.