Published May 1, 2008
"Don't duck and run."
It's one of the rules I have posted on a bulletin board at my desk. It's part of clipping entitled "10 Commandments of Communication." I look at it periodically. I follow it as best I can.
I went to it today after reading a cool front page story this morning about local grocers preparing for Wal-Mart. Read the story here.
In the story, Michael Rulli discusses an expanded Wal-Mart SuperCenter opening up not far from his family's Rulli Bros. store in Austintown.
He's honest in his lack of excitement for the opening, saying with a hesitant laugh, "It will be fun."
But he's also honest in that the competition will make his store better and he's up for the challenge.
The story also had Henry Nemenz talking the same talk. His Sav-A-Lot and IGA stores compete against Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle.
It's a laudable style. It's something not easy to do in the face of such a challenge. And it's something in short supply.
I talked to high school kids the other day at a Youngstown State University high school press workshop. I emphasized the need for them to rise above the naysayers who will inevitably surround them in life — whether they are leading a workplace or toughing it out amid the front-line miracle workers.
It is easy to complain. It is easy to say something can't be done. It's a sport for many people. Much of it, I feel, is unnecessary. But some of it is fueled by the tough economic times we're drowning in. It is tough for a lot of us. Extremely tough.
But you can't duck and run from it. Today's news clip featuring Rulli and Nemenz should be tacked up on the refrigerators of many homes in the valley.
And when you go to fill that refrigerator, keep these stores in mind. The decisions will come down to price, and that's something to size up.
But I also size up things like county fairs, and who were two top names buying the livestock from areas kids: Nemenz and Rulli.
Such loyalty and optimism is truly hard to price.