A Winning Team
"Great moments are born from great opportunity. That's what you've earned here... One game; if we played them 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game, not tonight... Tonight, we stay with them, and we shut them down because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world... This is your time. Now go out there and take it."
Those are the immortal words of Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 USA Ice Hockey team before the game against the Soviet Union. On the 40th anniversary of that historic event, I thought it appropriate to remember how a team built of college players from schools across the county beat the undefeatable professionals on the Soviet Union squad.
The individual players on that 1980 USA Ice Hockey team were no match for the talent, power and precision of their opponent. However, that TEAM had a singular focus, the commitment and the will to put the needs of each other above any individual accolades. They knew the name on the front of the jersey was more important than the one on the back. They communicated and worked for each other.
Being able to communicate our thoughts, opinions, and needs has always been important to our core mission.
Although we are not playing ice hockey against the Soviet Union team in 1980, we are muscling our way through a global pandemic and financial challenges, so communications are important now more than ever. That is why I hosted our first-ever online Town Hall Meeting on May 15. Thanks to our new technologies, we can now communicate with virtually any person from any place — and that's just what almost 1,000 of us did during the meeting.
The Town Hall gave me a chance to update you on many items related to COVID-19 and provided an opportunity for you to submit questions prior to and during the live event. Special thanks to Dr. Becraft and Joey Sagal for joining me during the event and to the many individuals who helped plan and coordinate this behind the scenes. It was a unique opportunity for us to share information and come together as the MDOT SHA Team!
Your feedback and questions were tremendous! From "how long can we telework?" and "what will you be doing to keep us safe when we re-enter our offices?" to "what are the economic impacts of the pandemic?" and "what should we do to protect ourselves and our coworkers?" – your questions were thought-provoking and I, for one, appreciate you voicing your opinions and concerns. To that end, we will be posting responses to your questions and a recording of the Town Hall meeting on the Intranet soon. You asked A LOT of questions and they're taking just a bit longer to get through than anticipated. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
I've always been a proponent of open and honest communication. I think our first stab at a virtual Town Hall Meeting went very well, and I expect that we'll be doing more of these in the future.
Thank you for your continued support and for doing what you do best – providing our customers with the essential services they've come to expect from MDOT SHA. You are the greatest state highway team in the world. Keep up the good work! Stay safe and healthy!
Tim Smith, P.E.