As we look back over the past two years and consider all that was thrown at us, we are mindful of several key words or terms that sustained us, guided us, and energized us.
The first is thankfulness—for coming through the fray and remaining in business. We know there were many businesses shuttered by Covid and related circumstances. To be among businesses still operating is a victory, indeed. A bowed head, at this point, is a good thing.
The second is adaptation—the ability to work through issues in a quick and decisive manner. Kudos to business leaders for making tough and quick decisions, based on a paucity of facts. If we reflect back, let’s be honest and agree that some things worked, while other decisions—though well-intentioned—crashed and burned.
Some might say luck played a role as well. “Let’s go for it” became the mantra. Success did not come without loss of sleep and queasy stomachs. If we reflect back, let’s be honest and agree that some things worked, and some didn’t.
Third, teamwork—for surrounding yourselves with a cadre of individuals you trusted and believed were in the boat with you. From my conversations with many of you, I know there was more listening and give and take that occurred in management and board meetings. The running of businesses became a team sport.
Teamwork also extended outwardly—firms helped each other. We quickly realized that our successes rested, in great part, on the successes of others, including competitors—something akin to the saying “a rising tide raises all boats.”
Fourth, a sense of humor—the ability to laugh at things, especially at ourselves. Perhaps, easier said than done, but certainly laughter was, and is, the right medicine for not only the past two years, but life itself.
Fifth, thinking of others—knowing there were people hurt terribly by the pandemic—emotionally, physically, and financially. Governments, neighbors, families, and strangers rolled up their sleeves and helped others.
My last word is resiliency—the ability to get knocked down, stand up, and keep going.
There are many other words and phrases that could be used to describe the perilous and challenging times faced over the past 24 months. More challenges, and opportunities, lie ahead.
We can do this.
This is the CEO’s Perspective column from the January/February 2022 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole issue.