March 19, 2020
I sit here at 3 a.m. It’s eerily quiet, so many thoughts and so many unknowns. I’ve read the headlines, I see it and feel it, but what I have not heard much of are the emotional lows. They are scary, and they are real. How do we manage this? It is an individual question we must all honestly answer. It is a time to lean on our faith, our family, and our neighbors. It is a time to communicate, not in a Pollyanna way but in a real pragmatic way. James Stockdale, who spent years in prison camps during the Vietnam War, was asked who made it out and who did not. He said, “That’s easy…”
I have added a link to the Stockdale Paradox, please take 5 minutes with a hot cup of coffee and once you’ve read it, stop and let it sink in, and decide how these times demand balancing realism and optimism.
We as a country have done little else but immerse ourselves in what is, and what may be to come. We must all have even a higher level of courage. I love that word; it is the one key word that ties in all the others needed to embrace what we are now going through and will continue to go through in the coming weeks and months.
These times are times of key, life changing decisions. We must adopt the idea that this is a time where we should expect pain and hardship; not a little, not a lot, but if we all meet in the middle, we will all make it to tomorrow. If someone only gives a little, that means someone else must give a lot. That is not fair, and that thinking is a very selfish, sad way to live. We must look beyond our needs and see how we can help. It’s time to think outside the box.
On March 17, 2020 I decided to temporarily close my business (tears are welling up in my eyes just typing it). This was the toughest decision I have made in all my years in business. I did it because it is the right thing to do for all of us. Maybe by my actions, I prevented one of my teammates from getting the virus and taking it unknowingly home to their elderly mother. Maybe I saved a life today. This is the purest form of a servant spirit, to do the right thing today, not knowing how it might affect me now and for years to come. There may come a day when I need to lean on someone else, but for today, I want to help and serve, because I can and because it is my duty.
True wealth is not the assets or dollars in your bank account, wealth is how full your heart feels at the end of the day, you cried, you laughed, you served.
And my final word, that is my personal favorite word: Serve. Last week and last month we went about our normal routine of serving those around us, but today and tomorrow we must reach deep and serve more deeply from our hearts, push aside differences, and make decisions for the greater good.
True Leadership is servanthood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions.
God Bless you all during these times. Be with your loved ones today, give them a compliment, and tell them you love them.