Strike Straight

“Either you make a decision or the decision makes you.”

This little pearl was handed down to me by my Dad, who was incredibly good at walking away from “opportunities” if they didn’t meet his needs. No regrets. No confusion. No second-guessing. Just one assured step after another.

It’s a quality I admire, because I sometimes struggle with the concept. I have a habit of seeing “opportunity” everywhere and often question decisions long after the decision has passed. On some level, I understand there’s no use worrying about yesterday or, for that matter, tomorrow, but I do it anyway.

In any event, I was reminded of this little truism today in three separate conversations with recreation managers who called in to have me convert their printed fall programming guides into snazzy, interactive, digital flip-books.

All three of them held the title “Recreation Manager” and all three of them were tasked with all the marketing responsibilities for their department. None of them, as far as I could tell, had ever gone to school for marketing and they certainly hadn’t interned or worked in a corporate marketing department or ad agency.

And, none of them was a child of the computer or internet-generation, which made their call about a cutting-edge, digital solution all the more interesting.

But, you know what? All of them were awesome.

They asked succinct, intelligent questions. They fearlessly and confidently made decisions. And, here’s the kicker--they smiled and laughed throughout the entire conversation. I’m serious. I could actually hear them smiling on the other end of the phone.

And, it’s not the first time I’ve had this type of interaction. Truth be told, I field these calls just about every day--apparently word is getting out about our digital flip-book program--and after I hang up, I’m often left wondering, “What’s the next item on that person’s To-Do list?”

It’s probably something like, “Convince Ashley Judd to make a free appearance at Christmas benefit as she swings through town to film her new movie.”

I mean, seriously.

I spend the better part of my adult life trying to keep up with digital technologies in the hope that I can incorporate the best of it into our business plan and give you access to it. It’s a lot of work--and often very confusing.

But day in and day out, I get calls from folks who don’t really understand the difference between Android and iPad, and don’t care, as long as we can get push their digital programming guide to “everybody in my town who has one of those things.”

I love it. And, I hope you love this month’s issue.

We’ve got a host of great features--one of them, “Useful Advice” by Randy Gaddo (page 53), shares the day-to-day marketing plan executed by the Auburn Area Recreation and Park District and includes an Excel file you can download from our

Hopefully you can hear me smiling--because I am.


Rodney J. Auth


Bryan BuchkoComment