This year, the North Star Christmas card is a metaphor for 2020. With so many surprises, changes, disappointments, and frustrations, at times it was simply best to have a good laugh, shake your head, and move on. Because there’s just no future in fretting over stuff you can’t control.
Our team started 2020 like a cheetah, picking up speed with every stride. Around mid-March, it became evident we were actually the gazelle, running not for sport, but for survival. Okay, that’s a tad dramatic, but I’m not exaggerating when I say we had to make some big decisions in a hurry if we were going to outflank COVID-19.
The most significant decision we made came in mid-April — the choice to focus on the education market. We’ve been active in education since 2001, and it has made up a significant percentage of our portfolio over the years. But in 2020, we drew a line in the sand, burned the boats, crossed the Rubicon, took the plunge, went all in…you get the picture. And our team has never been more focused, aligned, and effective.
We rewrote our purpose and vision statements, and we developed a new core focus. Our core values stayed the same, guiding us through a season of limited visibility. In case you’re wondering, here they are:
Purpose: We align our God-given creative talents to provide Marketing Leadership that transforms lives through education for the common good.
Vision: To develop the standard for enrollment marketing and make it accessible for every educational institution.
Core Focus: Enrollment marketing that connects qualified students to valuable opportunities for brighter futures.
- Commit to Excellence
- Lead with Humility
- Pursue Growth
- Push for Clarity
- Value Community
- Find Joy in Work
It’s remarkable to reflect on how adversity and uncertainty can make a team stronger and more focused. “Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.”
We’re grateful for God’s provision and guidance through 2020, a year in which we all had limited visibility. But I can say with confidence that, while I would not have chosen the complexities of a year many of us would rather forget, we’re better for it.
I pray you can say the same this Christmas.
Blessings to you and yours—
President & CEO