Own It and Be a Change-Maker

Own It and Be a Change-Maker

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

As I wrote in a previous column, there’s no true crystal ball that can predict the future. When I started my term as SMPS president in 2019, I could have never predicted COVID-19 would shake up the world and our lives as we know them.

We need to see this as a huge opportunity rather than an obstacle to get over. The pandemic has given us the chance to prove to ourselves that we can do something we thought we couldn’t. As Simon Sinek says, “There is no going back to normal.” Now’s the chance to, as I like to say, “Own it,” and be the one to make things happen.

Anyone can step up and lead during this time. So it’s time for us, as marketing and business developers, to truly transform our businesses and our lives to get through the unknown to make the outcome positive for ourselves, our firms, and our lives. Anything is possible when you take the initiative to own what you do and harness your passion to go for what you want.

When I accepted the gavel last year, I shared several ways that all of us can truly own it. I’m hoping you have taken—or will take—a risk to do one or all the things to be a change-maker in your personal, professional, and SMPS life.

Here are few ideas that have helped me along the way:

Care deeply about what you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with

Be passionate

Ask for what you want and prove you’re worth it

Trust your intuition and crazy ideas

Think big and use your creativity to break the norm

Don’t always ask for permission

Exude authenticity

Take risks

Stay optimistic: find the bright spots and share them

Be a leader: see something that needs to be done and do it

Collaborate often and ask for help


Thanks for trusting me to be your leader this year. I’ve learned so much from all of you. Thank you to my co-workers and board at Champlin, the SMPS HQ staff and board of directors, past SMPS leaders, my friends, and most of all my family for being an amazing sounding board, providing inspiration, and believing in me.

Who would have known that this crazy idea I had years ago, that I could someday become SMPS President, would be a reality? This just confirms something for me—and that’s to always trust your crazy ideas. (thanks, Dan Zadra)





SMPS President Melissa Lutz, FSMPS, CPSM, is principal of Champlin Architecture in Ohio. She can be reached at melissa.lutz@thinkchamplin.com.


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