Community Pride Without Enough Belief

Next to my desk at the Atlanta Tech Village I have a framed newspaper cover from a 1990 The Atlanta Journal announcing that Atlanta had been awarded the 1996 Olympics. On the cover, the headline says “Word-class! Proud city brings home the gold” and then, on a lower section, the headline reads “We finally won something!”

The Atlanta Olympics headlines and sentiment could have been written by every startup community across the country, outside of Silicon Valley. Everyone is proud of their city, yet is surprised when they finally “win” at something in the startup scene (raise a big round, have a nice exit, build a new facility, etc). Where’s the belief? Where’s the confidence?

One of the things I’m accused of is having too much confidence, especially when I lack information. My goal isn’t to provide false hope, rather, I have a strong internal locus of control and belief in my gut. I tell it like I see it. When it comes to the Atlanta startup community, I have tremendous pride and belief that we have all the necessary ingredients to be a top 10 city in the country. Regardless, I’d like to see more entrepreneurs with community pride also believe they can make their startup ecosystem even better.

What else? What are your thoughts on people having community pride without enough belief?

Here’s a photo of the newspaper cover:

Atlanta wins the Olympics - Atlanta Journal

4 thoughts on “Community Pride Without Enough Belief

  1. That’s definitely the way to go David, confidence is at the base of beginning of manifest you goals. There is an inherent power I belief it plays major role in raising your standards and demanding more of yourself, ultimately jolting you into action

  2. Successful entrepreneurs have a strong belief in themselves, their ideas, their path, their team and their mission even in the best and worst of times. And they visualize this belief, where they want to be and how they plan to get there. Then, they carefully execute on this belief with no doubts, regrets or hesitation and are open minded to advice and adjustments required along the way. To win requires this ultimate level of confidence. I have found that it is the only way. In regards to Atlanta and our potential, I am a believer David and that to achieve requires small and big wins along this path which I have been fortunate to be the beneficiary of as well as my team members in several local Startups, but always feel there is so much more work still to be done and that we have built momentum but it is still so early on this path. To capitalize on this momentum, we need to rally as individuals, organizations and community to continue to achieve break-through outcomes. By the community all working together and harder than they ever believed possible, not 9-5 routines, but with all of their effort and focus, I am confident we can achieve our collective beliefs and dreams greater than we ever thought possible! It all starts by visualizing this and aging the condidence to overcome any fear in your belief, in failure, in success, in your strength to execute and to achieve your dreams. And strength to ignore the non believers , the haters, and those trying to pull you down who are all around you, and even more so with the more success that is had. But a strong belief can overcome all! Another great shared inspiration. Thanks.

  3. We often don’t fully appreciate the process of achievement thanks for your views on confidence and belief. I strongly share those views. Upon til lately I must add that I really never understand the full set of ingredients that goes into achievement and how the line up. Great piece Dave, Thanks a Million

  4. WOW! Inspiring article and GREAT image of that 1990 AJC-Front Page! I’m saving that one. Thanks!

    It’s important to note that the City of Atlanta did not win ‘the hosting’ of just any Olympic Game. Being selected over Athens Greece, which held the inaugural contemporary games 100-years earlier, Dr. King’s birthplace won the CENTENNIAL Olympic Games.

    Pericles, Mayor of Athens, Greece was born 2,500+ years ago and is referred to as “History’s most productive mayor.” This quote by Pericles reminds me of Atlanta’s common statistics, precarious circumstances, and also its great possibilities for the future:

    “All things good on this Earth
    flow into the City,
    because of the City’s greatness.
    Well, we were great once.
    Can we not be great again?”

    Yes, Atlanta has GREAT possibilities for the future but for it to truly seize them more substantially then its ambassadors, like you Mr. Cummings, need to listen to Confucius:

    “If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
    if in terms of ten years, plant trees;
    if in terms of 100 years, teach the people…
    Study the past if you would define the future.”

    I admire, and am a proponent of your inspiring dream of Atlanta rising, like the Phoenix of its official city-logo, into the USA’s Top-10 City List of start-up communities. I believe our city can get there much quicker and even jump to an international position of inspiration, when your overall initiative is coupled with purpose, goodness and service. For our city to aspire to lead as a tech-leader and simply for tech’s sake is uni-dimensional and limiting.

    What has shaped me and our organization in the best ways is the powerful words of our city’s globally-respected ‘native son.’ Dr. King reminds us of where true greatness originates:

    “Everyone can be great
    because everyone can serve.”

    Therefore, I offer this message to the City of Atlanta – “If you truly want to be GREAT in the best of ways, and if you truly want to express your deep gratitude to the global community for having the blessing of being an integral part of it, then commit to excelling in SERVICE.”

    It is GREAT that tech helps every kind of service leader, project and organization to excel more expeditiously. The intentional coupling or figurative-marriage of TECH & SERVICE (for the greater-good) is an amazing prospective relationship that will propel our city onto the national and international stage like no other; with one exception.

    IMAGINE the phenomenal windfall of economic and societal reward that will flow into our great City when this following figurative-marriage is planned and accomplished… Envision ‘Atlanta: City of Peace’ as the cute bride, and ‘India: the World’s Biggest Democracy’ and the handsome husband.

    Our organization is looking for dynamic tech-leaders to “mine” our city’s greatest, yet mostly unknown, asset. We have termed it:
    “The Gandhi-King Global Peace Connection”

    FACT: Gandhi & King are two globally-respected peacemakers and they are at the TOP, worldwide, as most admired and celebrated. Fortunately, our global family has been gifted with this powerful warning and reminder by Dr. King himself about why ‘the Mahatma’ deserves our perpetual admiration. Dr. King stated:

    “Gandhi was inevitable.
    If humanity is to progress,
    Gandhi is inescapable.
    He lived, thought and acted,
    inspired by the vision of humanity
    evolving toward a world
    of peace and harmony.
    We may ignore Gandhi
    at our own risk.”

    Even Albert Einstein, TIME Magazine’s “Person of the 20th Century” greatly admired Gandhi and stated: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”

    Tragically, for citizens of metro-Atlanta to heed the Gandhi-reminder by Dr. King, it’s important that first, Dr. King himself remain relevant to them. Realistically, I think if you look at the collective perspective of our metro-population of 5 million citizens that it would probably be “We don’t care about Dr. King.” There’s a powerful reason of why this may be. As noted in the most published book of human history, it’s written that:

    “A prophet is always honored everywhere except in his own town…”

    GREAT news! There are formidable paradigm-shifts going on worldwide in every major industry and tech is propelling them along WITH the historic, emphatic and unequivocal social-action examples of Gandhi & King. Even at the very birth and ‘ROOT’ of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs in every major corporation of the world are the unseen seeds of the great peace, service and sacrifice legacies of Gandhi and King.

    I everyone to find substantiation of this point while watching the HUGE scroll of nonprofits and NGOs in this favorite speech and video. Indirectly, one may discover the inspiration of Gandhi & King at the birth of all these SERVICE organizations. Also, the 1000-year vision for the Peace Millennium ahead and the HOPE for a healthier global family grows brighter by the day:

    “Paul Hawken: Blessed Unrest, Bioneers 2006”

    Here, Atlanta finds itself in the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize (1964-2014). Will Atlanta be ‘gone with the wind’ to collectively and frankly “give a d _ _ _” about that historic fact? Or will there be special events and celebrations around the time of December 11th when Dr. King gave his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture in Oslo, Norway 50 years ago?
    “The Quest for Peace and Justice”
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-lecture.html

    It’s my hope to see the later, and much evidence of Atlanta leading in this new era of transformation. There are sad events of the past that must be surmounted. When you read “Inside Coca-Cola: A CEO’s Life Story of Building the World’s Most Popular Brand” by former Coke CEO Neville Isdell, you will find a chapter “Connected Capitalism.”

    In January 1965, shortly after Dr. King had returned from Oslo, Norway and from being celebrated worldwide for winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, there was a biracial celebratory dinner to be held in his honor. Atlanta’s prominent business, civic, government and religious leaders were invited, but ticket sales lagged considerably and the dinner was almost canceled because of lingering racism.

    At the time, it was Robert W. Woodruff’s leadership and support that made the dinner a success (Woodruff was the visionary who rescued the Coca-Cola Co. from threatened bankruptcy in the 1920s and built it into one of the world’s great business empires).

    The “Connected Capitalism” chapter tells that Coke patriarch Robert Woodruff “politely persuaded” Atlanta’s white business community to attend, for the event would have represented a “worldwide embarrassment for Coca-Cola and for Atlanta” had they no-showed. He essentially said… paraphrasing: “Attend or Coke does NOT want to do business with you.”

    In a 1982 interview with The NY Times, Joseph M. Jones, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president and Woodruff’s personal secretary, “Then there was the time the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize,” Jones said. “There was some division in the community whether he should be honored. Here again, Mr. Woodruff, through former Mayor Hartsfield, said: “Don’t be absurd; of course he was to be honored,’ and he was.”

    There was Dr. King the night of that special dinner in late January 1965, in his home town, or birth-city, and after returning from the Nobel Peace Prize celebrations in Oslo, Norway… He spoke to a standing-room only, integrated audience and proclaimed what would become one of his most famous quotes:

    “If people of good will of the white South fail to act now, history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the vitriolic words and then the violent actions of the bad people but the appalling silence of, and indifference of the good people.”

    Mr. Cummings, the title of your article is auspicious in this 50th anniversary year of Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize: “Community Pride Without Enough Belief.” It’s exciting to know that the peace actions of Gandhi & King have made communities around the world healthier. Even many nations of the world have been in a state of transformation because of their teachings, legacies and sacrifices.

    I especially like Dr. King’s teaching on “The Beloved Community” and if ANY community on Earth needs to excel in these principles, then it really should be Dr. King’s own home town; what we have termed Atlanta: City of Peace, don’t you think?

    http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy#sub4

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