Seeing Opportunities in Uncertainty

Seeing Opportunities in Uncertainty

By Deb Woodall

During ֱ’s very first all-remote, all-staff meeting on March 26, executive director Deb Woodall shared her reflections on how the world as we know it has changed and how she is responding to it. Hopefully, her reflections will inspire others, as it inspired our staff, to take a step back, look around, and see what we can do with what we have right now. Here are her thoughts:

I’d like to first recognize that we all might be in different places in terms of how we’re coping with and taking in what’s going on around us. Try to take a step back to reflect on how you are feeling this week, say, compared to even a week ago. Give yourself some credit for the things you’ve learned and accomplished in a week. I’ll bet there are many. I imagine your perspective is evolving too. Last week I found myself saying things like, “When things get back to normal…” every day. Now I am settling on a new understanding. The “normal” version of many things—maybe things I loved—might not be there in exactly that same way to come back to. Maybe that’s ok.

We can all look around us and see terrific examples of people adapting on the fly. Local restaurants are offering curb-side pick-up (with drinks!) and delivery when they didn’t before. Church parishioners are finding wonderful ways to connect with each other virtually. I know my extended family members are now connecting regularly, virtually, when we never did before. Even our staff has made the move to virtual conferences and events. The potential for all these wonderful things was here all along, but we didn’t see them or didn’t think we needed them.

It’s a silly example, but in my house, we are suddenly seeing potential all over the place—sometimes with things we didn’t have time for before. My family has had some hand-me-down rollerblades gathering dust in the basement. We’d been waiting for my daughter to grow into them. It took a little time and some new perspective for us to pull them off the shelf this week. Guess what? They fit. And, with a little time, patience, and perspective, they’ve become her new favorite things.  There’s potential all around us to see things in new ways, try things we’ve never tried before, and be more open and generous in the ways we connect with each other.

I encourage everyone, and I’m doing this with my ֱ team too, to start to seeing things around us with fresh eyes. No matter what your role, you have ideas, and you can be the leader to help invent the new normal—whether that’s in your home, community, or at ֱ. We might find that where we end up when things settle down looks different, and maybe better, in some ways than where we’ve been.

Deb Woodall is the executive director of the Creative Media Services team at ֱ.

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