by Karen Lehman, President/CEO
We are in uncertain and challenging times when access to news and information is constant. Daily, if not hourly, new directions are given and different decisions need to be made. Questions regarding enough staff, enough supplies, enough information, and are we doing enough are the new normal. In the midst of all of this, it’s easy to focus on the challenges, our fears and anxieties, and about the possibility of not having enough resources to see us through to the other side.
But the truth is, in our faith-based, values centered and networked organizations, we have so much strength and positivity on our side! While it’s hard to remember the strong foundations of support we have when the day to day is so challenging, it is just that underpinning that will see us through this uncertain time. And maybe challenge ourselves to see the possibility of abundance in this difficult time. The question I am asking myself, and I’m guessing everyone is asking – what are my priorities today and what is the most important work I should do today or tomorrow?
While the present is constantly at the forefront, thoughts about the future are there too. What are the implications of the coronavirus outbreak for the future? Am I doing what I should today to ensure a positive future for our organization and community? While the primary focus right now is on resident/client/patient care, and ensuring our staff are safe and healthy, it doesn’t mean that our communications, fundraising, marketing, public relations, etc., should take a back seat.
Our reputations, how we’re handling the coronavirus and how we’re treating all those in our care are all being measured each day. Your stakeholders are paying attention! One of the greatest resources an organization can have is a good reputation that only keeps improving as you handle difficult times. Maintaining or increasing communications with your stakeholders and donors is more critical now than ever – sharing your preparation, your hard work and how you are maintaining your faith and values are very important to highlight.
I am reminded of the words in Jim Collins’ Good to Great about how there are enduring great companies that face challenges. “They all have ups and downs. The critical factor is not the absence of difficulty but the ability to bounce back and emerge stronger.” This means taking the long view and considering how your decisions today will positively shape your future. It’s viewing the world from a perspective of abundance, of having a strong foundation that will move you through adversity in a thoughtful strategic way.
There is abundance to be found when we look for creative solutions to problems. There is abundance to be found in acts of kindness and generosity when stress levels are high. There is abundance in the courage of the frontline staff and to all who are working with those who are sick and/or afraid. There is abundance in the energy, peace and wisdom that can emerge when we rely on our faith. There is abundance that can spring from thankfulness in the midst of all of our uncertainty. There is abundance in knowing that we are all here for each other as members of our faith-based association. We are never alone!