1: The year was 1962.
The United States was losing the space race with the Soviet Union.
In 1957, the Soviets had successfully launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1. In April of 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. The Cold War was raging and there was a real sense that American prestige around the world had been badly damaged.
President Kennedy sought an achievement which would decisively demonstrate America’s space superiority. He proposed landing an astronaut on the moon and returning them safely to the Earth before this decade was finished. In his speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962, JFK challenged the nation, saying:
“But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”
John Kennedy would die tragically a little more than a year later, but his goal of being first to moon was achieved before the decade was finished when on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.
One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind. Indeed.
2: For our 2022 kickoff at PCI two weeks ago, I shared this story with all of our associates. Such an inspiring example of the power of vision. I then connected John F. Kennedy’s vision with our vision for PCI.
2022 marks the beginning of our “next 100 years”. Last year we at PCI celebrated our 100th year since my grandfather founded our predecessor company. Our theme for last year was around gratitude. Looking back over the long arc of time, it is clear we had much to be grateful for.
3: But as the calendar flips over, it is time for a new theme for us at PCI. This new year marks the beginning of a new century. This year, as we begin our next 100 years, the time has come to focus on NEW FRONTIERS. This is our theme for the coming year.
This first year of our “next 100 years”.
More next week!
Reflection: What is my theme for 2022?
Action: Journal about how my theme inspires me.