This is part of a series of posts discussing the 5 Values of The Oak House.  You can see all the posts by clicking here.

Have you ever heard the aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats”?  Have you ever wondered where it comes from?

The phrase is commonly attributed to John F Kennedy, who used it in a 1963 speech to combat criticisms about a dam project he was inaugurating.  But Kennedy’s speechwriter Ted Sorensen tells us where it actually originated. Sorensen says the phrase was not one of his or the then-President’s original creations. In his memoirs, he writes that he noticed that “the regional chamber of commerce, the New England Council, had a thoughtful slogan: ‘A rising tide lifts all the boats.'” JFK would go on to use the slogan many times.  Although this phrase is most commonly used as an economic term, we think it applies to many other facets of life, including community.

The fourth value we have at The Oak House is Make It Better: We believe striving for excellence inspires others to do the same.  We chose this value because continual improvement with the benchmark of excellence is what drives innovation.  Without improvement and excellence, nothing evolves, it just stays stagnant.  We believe if every member of the community does 1 small thing with excellence, the entire community will be better for it.

Something as simple as picking up a piece of trash on the floor starts a chain reaction.  The trash gets picked up which means the floor is cleaner.  If the floor is cleaner, it means the place looks nicer.  If the place is nicer then someone will have a more favorable impression of the space.  If someone has a favorable impression of the space, they are more likely to get a membership, or to get a day-pass, or to grab a cup of coffee from The Oak House and not another place.  A rising tide truly raises all boats.

This “Make It Better” value has to start with me.  Just like any other value, I have to personify what it means to live it out.  I am constantly seeking ways to make both myself and The Oak House better.

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