The Rising: Staying Focused and Hopeful

One of my favorite songs over the past several years is “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen.  A song from the depths of despair that speaks of rebirth, resurrection, and forgiveness.

During this time when quite rightly we are anxious for our health and well-being, we are also staring down the very real possibility that the individual businesses and concerns that we have poured so much effort into, may themselves be decimated by this pandemic and plummeting economy.

It may sound crazy, but from the depths of our current despair and anxiety, is where we need to begin thinking about the rising.  This pandemic will end.  Our economy will rebuild.  We will once again see family and friends, go to restaurants and pubs, embrace, laugh and remember.  Joy will return tinged with sadness and uneasiness, but it will return.

The best leaders keep themselves and their people focused on the horizon, the future…hope.  They look to tomorrow, and the day after that.  They look to next week, next month, and next year.  They encourage their people to think about how their business must change to adapt to a different set of circumstances.

When catastrophes strike, such as the one in which we currently find ourselves, society emerges from the ashes, albeit changed.  People begin socializing and travelling and returning to school.  The rising begins once again.

Those organizations planning for that rising are the ones that thrive and recover most quickly.  Society and the businesses therein will forever be changed, and in that change is the glimmer of opportunity for the ones poised to address it.

Is this painful? Yes.  Are we angry or scared? Yes. But the pain lingers when we reside in it.

Here are some thoughts for you and your organization to consider as we do our best to be part of the rising:

  • What do we stand for as an organization?
  • What emotional impact do we seek to have for our customers and partners?
  • What do we think the future looks like as we emerge from the current crisis?
  • What do our customers most want from us now?  Once this crisis ends?
  • How can we reshape what we do to bring that to our customers?
  • What abilities, skills, and behaviors will we need to do that?
  • How can we start developing/refining those abilities, skills, and behaviors?

Having meaningful conversations about the answer to these questions is the glimmer of hope.  Hope is always about looking to the future for opportunities.  It is not about anger, loss, or lamenting what was past.  It is always about changing to address new realities. It is the beginning of The Rising.

Posted by Tim Nolan, Ph.D.

Tim Nolan is a trusted advisor to business and organizational leaders, partnering with his clients to achieve the outcomes they seek for themselves and for their businesses.