Can't believe its Friday, again...
The 2020 legislative session is closed, not with a bang but a whimper. Legislative leaders arrived Wednesday with masks and a touch of nostalgia as they closed out the session that will always have an asterisk*, since it lasted only five weeks. The last day of session normally is a day filled with stress, tightrope negotiations, and at times hot tempers along with plenty of junk food and ends with the thrill of hearing the gavel hit the dais. Wednesday was none of that.
As the leaders officially closed out the 2020 session, they also closed out an era of terrific leadership and camaraderie between the House Democratic and Republican caucuses as well as the Senate Democratic and Republican caucus leadership. It marked the end of a four-year run of respect, with enduring relationships and most of all each staying true to what makes a great leader, finding solutions to the problems faced each session despite the odds.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz have each announced their retirement, and you could hear the end of a love of the process in their words and their voices on Wednesday. In the Senate, Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano also was reflective on his time in the "circle" and the journey ahead.
Rest assured, they all will be missed. The next session will have its growing pains as the dynamics of the House and Senate leadership will be fundamentally different as well as their relationship with the Lamont administration.
With the COVID-19 emergency experience, it would not surprise many to see different kind Governor's staff dealing with the legislature. They are being tested minute by minute, and many are faring very well. That's not to say everyone agrees with their policy decisions, but the administration is being transparent, collaborating with experts and communicating with knowledge and conviction of their decisions as well as showing compassion and thoughtfulness. As the 2021 session comes into focus, they will have much more confidence under their belts and a deeper understanding of how CT government works since they have significantly leveraged many, many policy changes to fit the emergency needs of the state. Many policy changes remain and they will likely change the face of how state government works, how it looks and how it moves forward for another two years.
Over the past several weeks, the book "
GRIT" written by Angela Duckworth keeps popping into my thoughts. Its basic theory is that the secret to achievement isn't talent per say, but a combination of passion and persistence as well as a dose of purpose. It reminds me of a former boss that said, "
Yes, Paddi, life is hard. It's what you do with it that makes you soar." So let's look at
G - R - I - T
GUTS - All agree that failure is not an option. However, learning from defeat or the hurdles we face builds our ability to come back and get it right the next time, and the next time, and the next time...
RESILIENCE - Short-term victories do not make leaders. It's the long-term commitments to continue learning and improving that make a leader. It the experience of seeing when the situation interrupts our goals and pivoting and reinventing how to reach those goals or possible the goal itself moves the agenda.
INDIVIDUAL - Articles on "grit" all say that the individual who works tirelessly, tries until its right, seeks direction or guidance when it's not working out and still completes the task on hand will win the day.
TIME-BOUND - This one is about a sense of urgency. It's about moving the ball all day, all the time, not just the night before an exam or critical meeting or deadline. The use of courage, drive and enthusiasm to meet whatever the challenge will create the right outcome.
As Angela reminds us, the master of true "grit" was John Wayne himself. "
Courage is being afraid and going on the journey anyhow."
So as leaders in government, education, business and the community look to the future, we all can take a lesson from
"GRIT". It's the power of passion and perseverance, knowing it doesn't take a PhD, a Mensa IQ, a pro-athletics physical make-up or even a college degree. We all have the power to make a difference to change where our community and families are headed.
Let's see where Connecticut can go in this next phase of recovering and then reinventing our state. I'm betting on the fact that we'll all be up to the challenge.