Pictures of Moose

My wife and I took our young children to the same guest ranch in Granby Colorado for ten years. The same families would schedule “their week” so we would all be there together, along with new families from all over the country.  The ranch sits at 8,500’ and the early morning temperature in early August dips down into the thirties.

Ranch hands wrangle 180 head of the finest pleasure horses in America down the main road each dawn, creating the most inspiring and gentle stampede never witnessed by exhausted families trying to stretch their sleep to the edge of reason. This all lies just below the Arapahoe National Forest, flush with all of the Rocky Mountain critters one would expect.  My personal favorite, The Moose, tend to hang out in the willows lining the mountain streams, which also create perfect contours for humans to build roads. Hence, it is well known that moose are commonly spotted alongside these roads in the aforementioned willows. It is not so well-known that this phenomenon forever tempts curious, insomniac CEO’s to drive up Colorado 125 and hunt them at sunrise (5:15 am) with their cameras.

Breakfast at the ranch starts at 7:00. It’s a one-to-one guest/staff ratio so the guests are trained to be obnoxiously narcissistic in their every request, prompting their children to perfect the spoiled brat persona to a level previously not witnessed in the Rockies outside of Aspen. Parents were always doing their best to feed themselves, while protecting their children from having to feel the stress of wrangling their boots, gloves, hats, and raincoats before the 8:30 mount, and simultaneously socializing over the best coffee sipping atmosphere in the western hemisphere.  Smell it?  See the mist on the mountain meadows as it rises towards the snowcapped peaks of the Continental Divide? Feel the chill that drives the primal need to pause near a crackling fire to reset your natural rhythm? Good, this post is about supply chain… I promise.

This CEO would regularly head out at 4:30 or so, and passionately crawl among the willows, capturing the most wonderful images of these amazing creatures. With breakfast and coffee waiting, a return to the ranch by 7:00 am was merely a checked box. In the early days of digital cameras, ranch guests would have the added breakfast fare of seeing “the Moose of the Day” right on the camera screen that this guy would so proudly exhibit.  When viewing the images of these majestic animals on the screen, the response, to the person, was almost always the same;

“You are sooooooooo lucky!!!  I’ve been coming to this ranch for 15 years and have heard of all the moose, but have NEVER been lucky enough to see one! Do you know how lucky you are?!?”

I was “lucky” enough to sell a great supply chain company in 2006 that I started from scratch. We built it with a passionate team of talented, fellow moose photographers. No competitor saw our space the same way we did. We wanted to do more to lean up our customers’ supply chain than they could ever comprehend. I sold. I retired.  The team all spread out in different adventures. Many stayed on with the new entity. But I quickly got bored.  No one was taking pictures of any moose. It seemed to me that the industry had settled.  Everyone was “current state satisfied,” without pushing anything forward. After four years of other business ventures, I needed to fix supply chains again. I purchased an old competitor/friend and we put the band back together. They now call me the Disruptive CEO. Why?  Because I feel compelled to communicate to customers and competitors in a transparent and honest vernacular. This Packaging-Centric Supply Chain Space can be a wasteful vortex of cash-draining mediocrity. My team and I cannot sleep at night without fixing that. We are truly sick that way.

Now I am honored to travel every morning up that proverbial highway with a busload of fellow moose photographers who are chomping at the bit to capture images others wouldn’t dare to attempt.  As our colleagues and counterparts view our achievements they often comment on how “lucky” we are to have this team in place, and how “lucky” we are to be doing this kind of work. Far from it.

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