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Reece: Without shorter term limits, country could go flat

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

First off, as a general rule, I do not drink pop. Craft beers yes, pop no. But when I recently ran across what I remembered to be a favorite from my long-ago childhood, I had to buy a number of packages and share some nostalgia with my grandsons. Yes Fizzies, Cherry Fizzies, Orange Fizzies, Root Beer Fizzies and Grape Fizzies. That little tablet one marketing genius put as “adds a bubbling flavorful dimension to any drink!”

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I’d remember them. After dropping a tablet into a glass of water and watching it fizz, I tasted it. They certainly were not as good as I thought them to be. (As a kid, I’d pop them straight into my mouth letting the sugar-fueled, CO2 tablet take over.) Thankfully, I guess, my taste buds have become more discerning. And as far as sharing some nostalgia, after one taste the grandsons couldn’t have cared less. In fact, the grape-flavored box hasn’t even been opened.

So, why did Fizzies go by the wayside and yet Coke, Pepsi and others stick around? It’s because they’re a much, much better product – the real deal. 

In “The Essential Hallmarks of a Good Leader,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, wrote, “fortitude is an attribute often is missing in leaders, they need to have a fierce resolve to act. It means driving change, fighting bureaucracy and politics, and taking ownership and responsibility.”

There is no lack of fortitude in successful business owners.

You see, it’s time for small-business leaders to step up, to be more than heard and become actively involved in solving the problems facing this state and country.

Successful business people have the skill set needed in this day and age to correct the problems career politicians have created and are either unable – or unwilling – to solve. I truly believe that successful businesspeople have the ability and could drive much better results than what we have come to expect today.

In a recent speech, Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, “The business community wants to use its skills and expertise to help the country find smart solutions to the many issues that we face.”

The main problem is the founding fathers never intended for those elected to public office to stay for 20, 30, 40 (or more) years. They become so embedded into the culture and that, I believe, is the crux of our problem. My opinion is eight years and done.

If eight years is good enough for the president, it should be good enough for the rest. That being said, our democratic process and representative republic method of governance is the best system ever created, by far. But yet, what we’re offered is Fizzies when what we should be getting is Coke. Or a good craft beer.

For an excellent read on why we need a different approach led by those who every day overcome challenges and create results and value for their customers, visit: www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130817/ISSUE07/308179987/why-is-it-so-hard-to-do-business-around-here. If you can’t get there, contact me and I will email you a copy.

• • •

Tonight, from 5 to 7 p.m., join host Buffalo Wild Wings, 5755 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake, as the Chamber holds our annual Monday Night Football Book raffle “Kick Off” mixer.

Summers Academy of Dance, 5186 Northwest Highway, Suite 115, Crystal Lake, will host an after-hours mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 27. Chamber members are encouraged to attend for great relationship building opportunities. 

• • • 

Supercharge your networking in just one day by attending the Crystal Lake Chamber’s “Fall Scramble 2013” multi-chamber networking event. The scramble will be Sept. 12 at Boulder Ridge Country Club. Seating is limited, so call Jackie at 815-459-1300 for information.

• Gary Reece is president of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce. Email garyreece@clchamber.com. 

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