The Covid-19 Pandemic has taken us all by tumultuous surprise. The sudden tearing apart of the human infrastructure is not lost on any of us. Suddenly, we crave what we had at one time taken for granted. We crave the ability to sit in a conference room and collaborate, visit a coworker’s office with a cup of coffee to brainstorm resolution to a challenge, overhearing a funny story told across the hall and exchanging smiles as we go about our day. We now find ourselves trying to create this same environment from behind a screen and attempting to accomplish business collectively as we sit in our homes individually. The truth is, we can’t recreate the same environment and if we try, we will fail and feel terribly unfulfilled. So, what if we didn’t try to recreate but rather take this opportunity to engage in a more meaningful way than we had before? If we do, we may find we’ve developed some things that we won’t be willing to part with when our lives get back to normal. Things like…
Intentional Communication: There’s a real need right now to make sure we’re all doing alright. We’re realizing that this pandemic and this new normal is affecting us all differently. We’re not just popping into a colleague’s office because we happen to be passing by but we’re intentionally using our electronic platform of choice to call them, look at them “face-to-face”, and check in to see how they’re doing. I hope we never lose this no man left behind mentality and that we continue to realize that apart from business, how we’re doing in life matters. What matters even more is that we know as individuals that our coworkers care and intentionally seek us out sometimes just to make sure we’re doing OK.
Willingness to Go the Extra Mile: We’ve heard it said that there is no “I” in team. However, we’re learning in these difficult times that everyone on a team matters and is critical to success. None of us expected to be thrust into a world of makeshift home offices, no childcare, spouses or partners furloughed, conferences being cancelled, and board members stretched to capacity in their clinical and research schedules. As an Association Management Company, we have found ourselves having to think on our feet, make quick decisions, turn robust annual conferences into virtual experiences and seek creative and diverse revenue streams for our societies. We have found our professional roles shifting and the immense need to wear different hats to get the job done growing each day. One day we will all look back on this and admire the tenacity of our team. I hope it goes beyond that. I hope that the flexible and giving spirit of going above and beyond the demands of our role continues to such a great capacity that in the future professional mountains appear as mere hills.
Thankfulness: It’s such a simple word, yet, it’s not. It’s amazing how little we were thankful for before this pandemic. I’m sure we will never look at toilet paper, thermometers or Clorox wipes the same! In our personal lives our thankfulness rests in our families and friends, those who take care of our children, vacations, laughter, concerts, a dinner out, and the list goes on. Professionally, our thankfulness now rests in the fact that we actually have a job to wake up to everyday, courageous leaders who carry the heavy weight of making decisions to carry us through difficult times, coworkers who generously give of their time and expertise and the ability to maintain momentum for what we worked so hard to build. Wouldn’t it be powerful if we carried this with us and maintained this spirit of thankfulness both personally and professionally every single day? I believe the impact that it would have on our lives and on our work would be astounding and the growth we would see within ourselves notable.
The Courage to Expect More From Each Other: It’s no secret that great things never come from comfort zones. During this pandemic, there hasn’t been anyone exempt from all things comfortable being challenged. Individually and collectively, we have risen to the occasion, stepped out of our box and have accomplished things we didn’t think we could. We may have felt uncomfortable or irritated the entire time, but accomplishment is accomplishment nonetheless! We are amid confronting tough situations and realize that we must be tougher than the situations in front of us. We’re counting on each other to show up and show up big. We’re climbing mountains together and making the best tasting lemonade that situational lemons could ever produce. Why should this change once this pandemic has become a distant memory? Should we go back to expecting the status quo and living life as usual? I don’t think so. We have learned over the past few months that we all can do amazing and innovative things. In the future, I hope this empowers each of us to expect more from each other and grants us the courage to challenge each other when performing below our full potential. I hope we remind each other of our ability to think creatively and bridge the gap. I hope we accept nothing less than the best from each other. Afterall, now that we climbed a mountain together, how could we?