“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
We are currently living through an unprecedented time in World History. An interconnected, technologically advanced culture struggling through the worst public health crisis in over a century. Each day brings new challenges, new questions without answers, and an altered reality we bravely face as a result.
Just last weekend, as the impact of the Coronavirus began to set in, I took a look at what was happening and how it’s impacting Portland’s small businesses, employees, and the service industry, as a whole. And things have not improved. More businesses have shuttered, more employees laid off or furloughed, and local government continues to press citizens to stay home to stave off the potential for an even greater outbreak of cases.
So here we are, at home. Some are taking on new hobbies for the first time, others participating in pure escapism by finding distraction, or even ignoring warnings and living life as if nothing has changed.
Simultaneously, a number of local businesses have seized upon the opportunity to serve their neighborhoods and find business practices that can sustain themselves through this difficult time. They’ve found safe methods to deliver food, drink, and other services, in an effort to stay afloat, and in the process showcasing their ability to continue on despite the obstacles in front of them. Now is the time for our communities to act in everyone’s best interests – to shine in our darkest hour.
To achieve this kind of success, it takes understanding, forward thinking, and leadership at the local level. And for those who may have lost a job or are waiting for the ability to return to one promised to be there when this is over, it is a time for not only reflection, but also an opportunity for self-improvement – to find ways to come back even stronger than when they left work.
Just as we always see investors buy stocks when they’re low, people start new businesses and buy homes when the economy is down, so too should we look for opportunities to invest in ourselves when times are the toughest.
And if you’re out of work or working from home, I’m presuming that you’re spending most, if not all your time at home. So let’s do something proactive for ourselves, and find ways to interact with others, at a safe distance, online.
Starting Tuesday, a local company that I provide consultation and public relations for, The Caputo Group, along with Wyld Lynx Consulting, is kicking off a six-week training course “focused on helping managers design their leadership style and build a toolbox of strategic skills.” This was originally scheduled to take place in person, but clearly that’s out of the question, considering our present predicament.
This series will now be based online, each a three-hour session per week, and go beyond a standard lecture format to be as interactive as the technology allows us to. Leaders Maude Haney and Morgan Tashea have created the course and will guide the proceedings, but will also be inviting local experts in leadership development to participate. It is their hope that each student will be able to walk away with a new skill set of knowledge, bolstering your everyday management life, as well as furthering our community of support.
And to be completely honest, I was already interested in this series before our everyday lives changed. I’ve only recently been asked to work in a more managerial role for my regular employer, a small specialty beer distributor. The expectations of me have changed, and while it’s been great to get in on the ground floor, there’s still so much I have to learn and rough skills I need to hone.
The new goal for this series of classes is to offer this opportunity of learning and management training to everyone who’s able to join. In that spirit, the original course fee of $349 has been reduced to $49, to make this learning as accessible as possible, at a time when those looking for new avenues of growth need it the most.
Being that the situation is changing rapidly and my own work schedule is fluctuating day-to-day, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to participate myself, but will most certainly be there online, when I’m able.
I hope to see you there, in the virtual classroom, learning together as the next wave of leaders, seeking out the tools necessary to prepare ourselves when facing whatever challenges lie beyond the horizon.
Reserve your spot and learn more about Management Training: Creating Healthy Workplace Cultures