In early October, I will celebrate my two-month employment anniversary with the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. While I’m hoping my employers—the Chamber Board and membership—will consider a gold watch or an engraved domed-glass mantle clock, the reality is what I really could use is more time, patience and listening skills.

More time with my family. More time to visit one-on-one with community leaders. More time to visit with member businesses. More time to collaborate with Chamber staff on their pressing issues and time constraints. More time to develop direction from the Chamber Board on issues facing San Angelo businesses. More time for what seems to be an endless list of invites to serve on boards, organizations and committees.

Another gift on my wish list would be a bigger helping of patience. Patience to spend more time observing and absorbing. Patience to go a little slower perhaps, realizing a long-distance runner who sprints his way to the finish often burns out long before the race is complete. Patience to better understand the many viewpoints of others. Patience to allow myself enough time to reflect properly on the many issues and opportunities we face. 

Along with time and patience I’d like to be afforded the gift of better listening skills. I often tell my wife, Mary, it’s a hearing issue – but she knows better! I want to listen to your ideas, and I’d like to know what keeps you awake at night. And I’m really interested in hearing about the issues your business is facing. Is it staffing? The local economy? Rising health care costs? I’d like to listen.

So now the Chamber is asking to hear from you. We have developed a very short survey and we are asking for your feedback on only three questions:

• What do you think is the greatest issue facing San Angelo businesses?

• What are the biggest issues facing YOUR business?

• What can the Chamber do to help?

In order for the Chamber Board and staff to adjust and develop a meaningful program of work that helps your business grow, we need to hear from you. If you don’t speak up, we can’t listen. And if you don’t provide feedback, we can’t be assured we are always doing the right things. In other words, I am strongly encouraging you to let us know what you’re thinking. 

Please take just a few minutes to complete the following survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ctqrvqx