President’s Perspective: Willing & Capable

Apr 23, 2020

We have amazing capacity as individuals, as a company and as a society. That capacity is being tested in this current public health crisis caused by COVID-19, and we’re truly finding out what we’re capable of. This ranges from working remotely, upending our routines, meeting almost explicitly over Zoom or Teams – whatever it may be. You know them all too well by now. I suspect that if we look back to a few months ago, we are all surprised at how much of this change we have been able to tolerate so far.

We’ve always had this capacity to adjust. My observation is that this current crisis is giving us the will to tap into that capacity. Where does this will come from? It comes from not wanting to get sick or not wanting to get someone else sick. It comes from acting in the greater good – “flattening the curve”. It might even come from wanting to keep busy for our health and to keep some degree of normalcy in our lives. In my view, the sources of this will are fear, social consciousness, respect for others, love, and our desire to contribute. Without this will, we are not likely to dig into that capacity for adjustment. Our will pushes us to new limits in times like this, and while this is no way to live day in and day out, we are learning that there is little we can’t do. We are capable.

While this revelation of our newfound capacity is powerful, how do we find this capacity again once this is all behind us, and take advantage of it? Now that we know we can do these things, will we?

Will we eat better? Will we move more? Will we get more sleep? Will we love more? Will we judge less? Will we keep learning? Will we be more grateful? Will we express it? Will we look at change in the work realm and make it happen joyfully, or will we make excuses about it being new, hard, uncomfortable, not the way it used to be, etc? Will we look for ways to say yes or will we default to the comfort of “no”? Will we initiate learning and growth or just wait for it to find us?

Our fight against COVID-19 is teaching us a lot. That is not the question. The question is, what are we learning? We are certainly capable of coming through this knowing that we can make positive change and growth. Will we?