The Rise From Ground Zero

It’s been seventeen years since 9/11. 

A horrific event in the history of our world. We woke that morning to a world that felt safe, and by the end of the day, we all knew life would never be the same. We faced Ground Zero, and we had to rise.

Where were you? I was working for Enron. 

The first plane hit and I was listening into a conference call.  The line went dead and honestly no one thought anything of it.  It wasn’t until we flipped on CNN to see what had happened on the trade floor that we realized our lives would be forever changed.  I saw the second plane hit live.  A colleague of mine Michelle got out, just in time never to return to New York or a skyscraper.  

Well before the social era, it was with 9/11 that our country and the world began to witness the atrocities of black swan events.  And it’s no different today. Thanks to social media, we are seeing more and more the proliferation of disasters of varying degrees. Wars, corporate scandals, natural disasters, #MeToo, the list could go on and on.

The anniversary of this monumental moment in our history got me thinking.

The rise a disaster demands requires courage, determination, and tenacity: GRIT.  Without warning, these events swoop into our lives and wreak havoc. And we have no choice but to roll up our sleeves, take a deep breath or two, and face the challenging road ahead.

In the process, we grow and change, and we prepare ourselves to be stronger for the future.  

Here in the energy industry, we are no strangers to the growth that comes from face-down moments. And because of that, we have loads of grit. And that’s what it’s all about.

Next month we honor unsung heroes at our GRIT awards.  But this isn’t just about recognizing success.  In fact its really less about the titles that come with the jobs — it’s about celebrating the rise. It’s about owning our stories of failure and how despite our falls, we find a way to rise to the next level.  

9/11 rattled us. We suffered a great loss.

But in its wake, the world banded together, faced the wreckage and rebuilt. We witnessed heroism in action, men and women stepping up cloaked in nothing but bravery.

And it’s in moments like these: 9/11, our own industry moments, or our private moments as people that we flex our grit muscles.

Today and every day, we honor the GRIT of our 9/11 heroes.

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Katie Mehnert, Founder Pink Petro

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