Making a Difference in Tough Times

Is it increasingly difficult to find a glimpse of a silver lining? Is it truly more and more challenging to remain positive during these times? Fear, uncertainty, hysteria, and seclusion seem to be the “new normal”? As 2020 began there was a optimism in the air where did it go? Where are the positive changes in the air? Can we find some hope, change, and solace? The rally cry: “we can do this” is frequently heard. While our planet continues to transform through these cold dark times, we must work to focus on what can we learn. How will we continue our conversations? Can we remain kind and committed to our re-discovered neighbors? Can we put greed aside and allow giving to take hold?


As I was building out this post, many things came to mind. Probably the most poignant thought was how to we find any sort of goodness from this time of struggle? It is quite timely as I was watching (via a stream) a Palm Sunday service. Palm Sunday, the beginning of a very Holy Week – what a time to consider light rising from dark. But this is also about business, leadership, motivation, and development? How do all the puzzle pieces fit together – and do they?

Here are 5 things that I am sharing with others. These 5 things are not about putting our head in the sand, and they are not about ignoring the tough times ahead – rather these 5 things are about how do we protect ourselves, our teams, our family, friends and companies. These 5 things are about awareness, communication, and action – they take commitment and humility – but they do not include a debt on your balance sheet – the dividends will come – they are on the horizon – we need to maintain our effort – they will come.

  1. Listen to others. Keep in mind that great listening is not simply waiting for your turn to speak.
  2. Be curious. Ask questions. Explore for opportunities you never knew where there. Always see out opportunities to learn.
  3. Embrace humility. We don’t always know everything. Be open to learning new ways, new approaches, and new methods.
  4. Demonstrate absolute KINDNESS. Everyone is navigating uncharted territory. Do what you can to allow for everyone’s fear to be acknowledged.
  5. Give yourself time to BREATHE. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think before you act.

As we give ourselves time to focus and pay attention. I remembered advice from a colleague who asked: “…do you know how to save yourself if you are stuck in quicksand?” When in a crises, when you are confronted by uncertainty, when solutions seem just a bit out of reach – what do you do? What can you do? What can we do? It is simple: STOP – REGOUP – REFOCUS.

So, what is the point? This time is horrible? The world is in pain. People are suffering. YES, that is true. Time is now to lend a hand, give everyone time to “be human” and let us all do our best to see through the haze and put our sights on how we will all get through this – TOGETHER.

Keep in mind – Mr. Rogers reminded us that during a crises, keep your eyes out for people who step up. People who help others. People who not only talk about being generous, but those who demonstrate compassion, listening, and care for others. It is time to bring our whole selves to all we think, say, and do.

AWARENESS — COMMUNICATION — ACTION (what will you do today?)

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