As much of the southern U.S. gets battered by storms, I have been reflecting on what it takes for people and organizations to survive “storms” (natural and societal) and come back better and stronger. I have been fortunate that my family is largely safe so far from these storms. Though my brother has been without power in Florida for some time now, he has a wonderful attitude, understands what his place is in life, and what the storm means to his community. I think of the many people and organizations that are literally just trying to survive, not knowing what tomorrow brings. Many of our fellow citizens will be making changes- major life changes due to these disasters. In many ways, this is the truest test of resiliency and the human spirit.
Organizations, particularly not for profits, can learn from this experience. Think of what it takes for people to leave what they may have known for years and go to a shelter. Think of what it takes for a proud person to ask for help. Think of having nothing except the clothes on your back. I know sometimes our not for profit organizations feel that way- leaving what they have known for years, asking for help, having little in the way of resources. How can you survive?
I saw a great quote from Tavis Smiley: “The storm came. Lives were washed away. Ancient pains resurfaced. Now it is time for a sea of change.” As you weather storms, both the physical and the ones that occur in your organization, make them an opportunity for change. It is the perfect springboard to leave the past behind- not that you forget it, but that you have learned from it. Ask for help- seek people that can help you achieve your mission and do it with passion and purpose. Finally, tell your story because it is in those stories that we find the human spirit that will help you succeed.
If you need help after your “storm” contact us and we will help you navigate the change.