We are several weeks into what one can only define as unprecedented circumstances, and from the eyes of an optimist, I want to share a few thoughts and observations of what I am witnessing:
- Good people doing good things—using their time and talents to aid, assist, and provide resources to those in need
- Good businesses doing good things—retooling, rethinking “normal”, and providing aid where it’s most needed
- Businesses attempting to put their employees first, exhausting capital, time, and significant effort to ensure they have a future (as individuals) and a home (as employees) to come back to
- Communication tools and associated technology being used for good
- Human ingenuity, problem solving, and crisis management being practiced in positive ways—all for the greater good
The impacts and results are real and being seen and felt by those who are paying attention!!! Congratulations are in order. It is a true reflection of what and who we should be, ALL THE TIME!
As an optimist, I believe there is a solution to every problem, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t another side to this as well. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed:
- Criticism of those working tirelessly to provide solutions
- Incidents of media manipulation and fearmongering
- Attempts to utilize these circumstances for personal or political gain
- Opportunism for profit
- General negativity and pessimism
The real truth is that there is truly no place for any of this during a crisis.
So what do we do with this information? I can’t speak for everyone, but from my perspective, here’s how I attempt to manage the negative side of the information spectrum: I read it (thoroughly), digest it, attempt to discern fact from fiction, and then take that information and use it as a lesson in what not to do as a leader and as an individual.
It is important to remember that in times of turmoil:
- We don’t have time for fear
- We don’t have time to wallow in a quagmire of negativity
- We do have time to act
- We do have time to take care of others
- We do have time to make positive changes
- We do have time to make a difference
“But what can I do?” It’s a question we have all asked. The answer is simple:
- Help your neighbors
- Go get groceries/supplies/medicine/necessities for an elderly neighbor
- Reach out to a neighbor you don’t know and ask if they need assistance
- Help someone with whatever they need, regardless of whether you have a previous relationship with them
- Cherish the relationships you have—and create new ones!
- GIVE your time, resources, and talents to others. Everyone has a talent, and everyone has an ability to GIVE. Don’t ever forget that each of you has a special gift to give in times of need. USE IT.
As an employee and/or employer:
- Be open to change
- Invite your teammates to provide feedback; invite them to invest in their future with you through conversation
- If your business can retool and provide resources to fight the pandemic, you should (a good number already are and/or already have)
- If you have resources to give, GIVE THEM without another thought
- Become more efficient; rethink your processes and reimagine who you can become
- Learn to treat all customers and stakeholders with respect
And as for COVID-19 guidelines, remember to:
- Be responsible
- Follow guidelines
- DO NOT ACT SELFISHLY
- Be a part of the solution, not the problem
Appian Textiles will do its part, and because of this, I’m confident we will be here both now and into the future.
President and CEO