Let Freedom Ring: Let’s Dream, Take Action, Get Results & Have Fun

Written by Paige Dawson

It’s July and the start of Q3. The year is halfway over. Yes, really! Every year I awake amazed that we’ve sprinted to the midpoint of a year. The big question this poses for me: Am I halfway finished with my 2015 goals?

Hitting annual goals takes discipline. And, it takes daily, weekly, and monthly monitoring to ensure direction and course correction. For me, it’s always a work in progress, and I follow and listen to many people* for inspiration. I also glean ideas and processes that our clients implement in their organizations (more on that in a future blog post as we’ve picked up some fabulous new techniques this year).

The juxtaposition of the midpoint of our calendar year with our nation’s Independence Day—and for some of us, the respite of summer vacations—energizes me. It’s a perfect time to reflect on our values, our goals, and our freedom to achieve anything we desire.

It’s also a wonderful time to celebrate some heroes of freedom and catch up on lengthy reading lists…or add a few new titles to the list. I’m a bit biased in this recommendation (as I’m the co-author), but can think of no more fitting book for your summer reading list than Freedom to Dream, Courage to Act: The First Nine Decades of C. Jackson Grayson.

Freedom to Dream, Courage to Act

Paige Dawson’s biography of Jack Grayson, founder APQC

Last year I had the immense privilege and joy of co-authoring a biography book on Jack Grayson, founder of APQC (the American Productivity & Quality Center). Jack is the original curious mind and has no concept of the word “no”. His history includes serving as chairman of the US Price Commission under President Nixon, founder of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, co-founder of The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, dean of the business schools for SMU and Tulane, and stints as an FBI agent, newspaper reporter, teacher, farmer, racehorse owner, private pilot, and WWII Navy veteran. Yes, really! And at 91, he’s still going strong to fight for and improve our nation’s education system by introducing the concepts of process and performance management. Jack’s a true national treasure and an inspiring force of nature. I’ve admired and been in awe of him for 20+ years and had the good fortune to work with him and his team at APQC for the past decade.

It’s no surprise really. Our team at MPD is drawn to entrepreneurial-driven organizations, unconventional thinking, fast growth, game-changing moves, and the ability to make a true impact and difference. Jack, APQC, and pretty much ALL of our clients reflect these characteristics. As you might guess based on our client profile, there is no summer lull at MPD.** We’re heads down collaborating with clients on product launches, rebranding, and occasionally, triage work.

It’s this time every year that I give thanks for my freedom, for living in a country that values women and entrepreneurs, and for working with amazing clients and team members.

It’s July and the start of Q3. The year is ONLY halfway over. Let’s use our freedom to dream and our courage to act. And, let’s have some fun!


*In terms of goal setting and encouragement, I love to follow @rwebb_apqc for pragmatic insight on managing schedules and time and @gail_warrior for lifestyle, health, and working mom ideas.

*With the exception of our colleague Maureen Paulsen, who welcomed her daughter and our newest MPD protégé—Jocelyn—in June. We look forward to her return in September.

About Paige Dawson

With expertise in marketing, business strategy and public relations, as well as ‘in the trenches’ experience as a business owner, Paige Dawson brings a unique blend of talent to clients. As president and founder of MPD Ventures Company, Paige works with executives and entrepreneurs throughout the country to develop key messages, marketing strategies and measurable campaigns, driven by client business goals. She has extensive experience providing counsel for professional service firms, technology companies, associations and nonprofits.