This week our daughter, Dannielle came to visit us from Maryland. We had a good visit. Dannielle and I ran together and played golf. She spent mother-daughter time with Lynnda. Bradley, our grade school neighbor, came over and we played games in the evening. Dannielle brought Arnie, her Golden Retriever. He is always fun. Bradley loved playing with him. Arnie loves retrieving balls and chewing up dog toys.
Arnie is a master of begging for treats and food. Because of his sensitive stomach Dannielle restricts what Arnie is allowed to eat. He gets into things so we put up a portable gate to keep him out of my office. Monday evening Dannielle and Arnie when up to bed and I went into my office to catch up on some things. I went into the kitchen to get something to drink and left the gate off because Arnie was upstairs. When I got back to my office, Arnie was behind my desk. He had nudged the bedroom door open, came down stairs and snuck into my office. He had found the bag with some wrapped chocolates left over from Easter. By the time I got to him his snout was at the bottom of the bag and he had devoured all the chocolates, wrappers and all!
Chocolate isn’t good for dogs. Arnie seemed fine but we weren’t taking chances. We called our local vet’s emergency number and they gave Dannielle the number for animal poison control. The first thing they do is collect $85. They were friendly and helpful. We estimated the amount of chocolate and gave the vet Arnie’s weight. They did some calculations and decided Arnie didn’t eat enough chocolate to hurt him. The vet said he could have an upset stomach and loose stools. In the middle of the night he vomited up the candy wrappers but no chocolate. He was fine. No loose stools.
Arnie was his playful energetic self the rest of the week except he kept trying to get back into my office to see if he could find more candy. Arnie is smart but not smart enough to know that chocolate candy and the wrappers are bad for him even after it made him sick. The candy must have been very tasty for him. Even Dannielle’s scolding and telling Arnie chocolate is bad for dogs didn’t get his attention. Arnie didn’t learn from his mistake. Of course, Arnie is just a dog. People should be smarter.
Zig Ziglar, the late Hall of Fame speaker, author and sales expert said, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.” Said another way, true failure is doing a task the same way and expecting a different result. It isn’t failure if we figure out what went wrong and don’t repeat the mistake.
Things don’t always go as planned. This isn’t failure it is a learning opportunity. At the first World Petrochemical Conference we attended 6 years ago, we spent a lot of money and left with only one lead. That came from an encounter on an elevator. Our “elevator pitch” worked. Two weeks later we were in the company’s office. What we learned from that prospect persuaded us to do a study with IHSMarkit. The study results got us on the coveted main stage of the World Petrochemical Conference in 2018. The study and main stage presentation got us numerous meetings and multiple prospects, one of which is now under construction and creating jobs today in the Ohio Valley. Shale Crescent didn’t repeat past mistakes.
My mentor told me. “You need to learn from your mistakes. But if you are smart, you learn from others mistakes and don’t make your own.” Mid-size companies from eastern Europe are looking to come to the Shale Crescent USA because of our abundant energy, feedstock, markets and security. These companies looked at how large companies in western Europe are dealing their current energy situation with an ESG focus and are struggling with profitability. One of the first things these mid-size companies told us was, “Our first priority is profitability. We care about the environment but if we aren’t profitable we are out of business. Our carbon footprint is zero.” There are also no jobs and no products.
Last fall we did a Zoom call with an eastern European country. As the call was ending I asked the CEO, “Are you going to be okay this winter?” He responded, “We lived under communism for decades. We know what a cold winter is like without natural gas. Moscow got the gas when it was cold. When the Cold War ended, we drilled and fracked our own wells. We didn’t go “green” like western Europe did. If we have a cold winter we don’t have enough gas to run industry and heat homes. But our people won’t freeze.” They learned from their history and the mistakes of western Europe.
We learned at a conference, western Europe isn’t as “green” as they like to think. They have just shifted much of their emissions to other countries. Windmills, solar panels and electric cars are all fracking products made by oil and gas. The western Europeans don’t talk about the cobalt mines in Africa using child labor, deep pit lithium mines in places like South America, the graphite made in China or the radioactive lakes resulting from refining rare earth metals. The Europeans I talked to had no idea how their “green” products are made.
People are smarter than Golden Retrievers like Arnie. We need to use our intelligence to learn from our mistakes and those of others. We don’t need to follow the western Europeans to ruin and repeat their mistakes. We can use our intelligence to find ways to use our abundant energy and create a cleaner world. The process has already started. What could happen if we all worked together?
Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg
is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.