How To Catch A Fast-Moving Train

They can listen to an iPod, watch television, study for exams, text-message friends, and carry on chat-room conversations simultaneously! News that happened yesterday is old news. They need to know what’s happening now–all over the world–because it applies to their lives.

They will change jobs and possibly move locations once every two, three or four years, and not blink an eye. No longer will the norm be a 20- or 30-year career with the same company. They have such energy that they may be carrying on two or three distinct careers at the same time. These people are moving into the workforce as we speak, and we had better know how to harness that energy and capture their innovative ideas.

I told my staff recently, “We can either treat these times as a burden, or as an opportunity. I choose opportunity.”

We need to reinvent ourselves, recasting our roles to accommodate the changing environment.

Step It Up

For us, in a nutshell, that means we need to continue as a traditional public service, but at the same time find innovative ways of producing more revenue and bringing expenses down. We are in “entrepreneur” mode here, and, to be honest, it’s fun.

We’re coming up with new uses for space that otherwise was empty during certain portions of the day, for example, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, when most everyone is in school or at work.

We’re considering areas such as sponsorships that, in the parks and rec field, have been taboo before. Times change, and we recognize that if we’re not moving forward, we’re standing still, and thus will fall behind. We’re still at the leading edge of this change, but it’s a fast-moving train, so we don’t have time to linger at the station.

I’m willing to bet others in the field are on the same platform, and I would love to hear some of your ideas!

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, is Director of Leisure Services (parks, recreation, library) in Peachtree City, Ga. Contact him at (770) 631-2542 or e-mail

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  1. Catch the Buzz
  2. Moving On Up
  3. Leadership By Wandering Around
  4. The “Entitled Few”
  5. Gather Round The Table

2 comments on “How To Catch A Fast-Moving Train

  1. Peggy Thomas on said:

    Great comments, Randy. I think we all had our eyes opened in the process and we look forward to having some more community conversations.

    • Karen Stephens on said:

      Randy: Being a part of the Master Capacity Builders Transformational Leadership group prepared us for a new way of thinking and “doing” in a constantly changing, interdependent and increasing complex society. Continue your efforts to be innovative in building a new type of leadership and sustainable community.
      Karen Stephens
      Rotary Club of Peachtree City

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