#1 Uncertain Times Suggestions for Leaders
As I take precautions and observe what fear can do to a people, I feel drawn to share suggestions taken from the years of experience I have had as a business owner and the inspiration that keeps me grounded at times like this. There have been many ups and downs and there will continue to be. Such is everything in life. Take what you like and leave the rest.
Refrain from Pushing and Forcing - We are all in different places. Some industries like the financial advisors, grocers and moms that will work from home with kids all around are busier than ever. Counselors are adjusting by doing walk and talks or Teledoc type meetings. Some industries are at a standstill or slower/going backward and not knowing what to do with the time. Some are getting cancellations and postponements. There will be back slides and not all of us are as prepared as we would want to be. If we push or force what we want to do/gain, we could lose the most precious thing of all - relationships. You cannot put a price tag on that. Many are gained by time together and lost by one uncompassionate move. Be concerned and respect what others are feeling even if you feel totally different.
The Market - Bo Billeaud at Billeaud Capital says, “When it comes to the financial markets, our reaction to market events is everything. As disconcerting as coronavirus is, it is imperative to keep our eye on the prize and not let our fears – real as they may be – drive our actions. As Morgan Housel puts it, “The majority of long-term results are determined by decisions made during a minority of times, and right now is one of those times”.
I will close with a prayer my daughter, Kayla, sent me. My other 2 children, Molly and Burton, have also reached out to check on me and make suggestions. I guess the parenting role for them is taking over as I mature. That is a good thing.
Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death.
But,--- They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love.
So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING.
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM March 13th 2020