The Lessons that Tough Times Can Teach Us

You Got This

By April Graham

Every generation faces periods of chaos. Some are global, some are local, and all are tragic and disruptive in their own way. As we navigate the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus, it is our responsibility to cultivate skills essential for the new normal.

The past teaches us that these moments of chaos engender our characteristics of kindness, courage, creativity, resourcefulness, and good old-fashioned grit. So it’s worth taking a break from the news cycle to step back, calm our minds, and focus on what we can learn from this moment and what we can do to make a positive difference now and in the future.

When things go south, needs become apparent and innovation is required. The opportunity: consider how your existing skills and knowledge could be adapted to solve a new problem that you see and get to work solving it. Distilleries have shifted production to making alcohol for hand sanitizer. Companies are exploring ways to retool production to fill gaps in other essential supplies. Need a little more inspiration? Check out this recent article on how COVID-19 Will Fuel the Next Wave of Innovation.

Weaknesses in our public and private systems become more apparent in chaos. Individuals step up and lead grassroots efforts to bridge the gaps quickly. We’re seeing networks organizing through social media and NextDoor to deliver groceries, provide transportation and childcare, and clean public spaces. People are supporting businesses by purchasing gift cards, paying for services even if they’ve cancelled appointments, or supporting virtual adaptations such as the Quarantine Concerts – Kansas City.

During tough times, we learn a lot about our world, the people around us, and ourselves. We surprise each other with our ingenuity. Existing leaders leverage their power and resources to help their organizations and communities be resilient in the face of adversity. New leaders emerge. Our Executive Coach, Dr. Ann Hackett, recently offered insight into leading during tough times and the characteristics demonstrated by successful leaders during a crisis.

Consider what you can do in this moment of uncertainty. Gain new knowledge to help you in your quest. On some day in the future when you look back on this moment, you’ll be proud that you took advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your skills and serve your community.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear what you, your organizations, and your communities are doing to respond and adapt. We’d also like to do whatever we can to help facilitate connections and knowledge sharing so that you can continue build and implement solutions.

Send me a message at to share what you’re doing and what would help you be more effective.

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