While preparing for a Board of Directors meeting one day, I reflected on Simon Sinek’s approach to business – “Start with Why.” I wondered why each of the directors was involved in the organization.
We had been so focused on the overwhelming job of how we would approach the task at hand and what we needed to do — renovating, restoring, renewing, and reopening the museum that I realized I didn’t really know how each person had come to be involved and how they envisioned their individual contributions to the whole. I decided I would spend a few moments of our meeting, asking directors to share why they had become involved and why they continued to be proponents of the organization.
The answers were fascinating. More importantly, heart-felt and in some cases impassioned. One was compelled to preserve the architectural style and structure of the early 1900s. Another wanted to ensure the legacy of the printing and publishing industry. Several were enthralled with the living history so close to home. And all of us agreed that the building is an important location to Oklahoma’s historical beginning.
While our current focus is on reopening the building itself, even more significant is keeping alive the story of birthing Oklahoma from a territory to a state, as the telegraph from President Roosevelt came into the building and subsequently statehood was announced from the second story balcony overlooking main street Guthrie.
Why are we working so hard to ensure this grand old building stands the test of time? Oklahoma has a rich and fascinating history. We are proud of the heritage of our state and want to ensure for generations to come that the state’s beginnings were humble, exciting, and a source of pride.
Won’t you join us?
Cynthia E Rolfe, Ph.D.