“We have been living under a collective delusion for a long while now that burnout is necessary for success, that if you really are serious about succeeding, building a company, climbing the career ladder, then you just have to accept that’s going to require burning the candle at both ends.” That’s all rubbish, says Huffington. A delusion. There is no such thing as success without a state of sustainable well-being. This is the theme of Huffington’s best-selling book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, which she wrote upon discovering her own personal need to redefine success.
Huffington is right! We don’t have to kill ourselves create a successful life for ourselves and our families. She argues for life-work balance, sustainability, caring for ourselves and others, and doing what’s important in terms of our values and life aspirations.
The same principles apply in thinking about economic and community development in Ashtabula County. Ashtabula County needs to be about thriving and not growing! Many years ago when I started my economic development career at the Greater Cleveland Growth Association our marketing theme for Greater Cleveland was “Where Enterprise Thrives.” The messaging aimed to offset the earlier notion that economic development was just about growing bigger. The objective of economic development is about growing better and becoming more sustainable.