Building resilience in times of crisis: How do you want to remember this moment?

  • Child Development
  • Entrepreneurship
Kristina Scala

 

Certainly, none of us could have ever imagined what life would be like during a global pandemic that has resulted in states of emergency at the national, state and local levels. As business leaders and as humans, many of us are struggling with uncertainty and balancing working from home while also attempting to help our children with their own home learning.

We’re tired. We’re stressed. We’re sad. We miss our friends and colleagues. We miss our commitment to productivity. Many are worried about finances and survival. Members of our communities are trying to support elderly parents, navigating this time with their own compromised immune systems, experiencing new levels of stress, missing each other or generally feeling helpless as we all juggle this temporarily altered way of living.

Some look for silver linings. Fred Rogers shared this now-famous quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

It’s a glimmer of hope we cling to in the midst of tragedy. We need this optimism, but it may be hard to come by. Here are three things your organization can do to actively grow closer to your customers at a time when they need you more than ever.

Recommit to your values

This is the time to double down on your values as a community. For us, it’s been an extraordinary moment to witness employees’ and customers’ palpable commitment to our values. They are navigating this moment in history with the grace, enthusiasm, innovation and excellence that is second nature for our community.

Take this time to ask your customers to provide you with feedback. Ask them: What’s working well? What can we do to make our solutions even better? What are your best ideas for keeping our community connected while observing social distancing recommendations? What tips or learnings would you like to share with other customers?

 

Consider how this time will be etched in our collective memory

Last week, I was asked to be a part of a virtual panel of speakers on the topic of crisis management for entrepreneurs. An audience member asked me for coaching on leading their businesses through a challenging economic time, while also supporting their children whose schools had been canceled and who now needed to become virtual learners.

I responded to the question by asking the audience member, “How do you want your child to remember this moment?” There is simply no doubt that this unprecedented time will be etched into each of our memories, and notably in the memories of our children, employees, colleagues, customers, friends, family, etc. The good news: You get to decide what that memory will be.

In my company’s case, we are committed to ensuring that what the children in our community remember is the model that the adults in their lives set for them to meet the unknown or a challenge with wisdom, grit, equanimity, optimism and a commitment to stay in a growth and gratitude mindset.

Emphasize what makes you unique

If you have high-touch customer service, check in with each customer weekly during this time. Do what you can to deliver uninterrupted service and ensure that the coming year is full of growth — regardless of what circumstances come your way.

As individuals, as organizations and as communities, we will get through this and be stronger on the other end of it. Never in our lifetimes have we experienced something that so fundamentally tied us all to a singular moment of adversity. But it’s important to remember that it also gives us an opportunity to choose who we will be — for ourselves and for all those who surround us.

 

This article originally appeared in the Denver Business Journal on April 13, 2020. 


About the Author:

Kristina Scala is the Founder and President of Aspen Academy, Aspen Youth Leadership Institute, Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute, Aspen Academy Investment Fund, Bear’s Student Enterprises, and MODI. Scala is a thoughtful and creative leader, passionate entrepreneur, enthusiastic educator and master facilitator who presents on topics of education and personal, leadership, entrepreneurial, and parenting development. She works to inspire and motivate people to live a purposeful and authentic life through being kind, doing good, and making the world better through what we think, say, and do.