As we find ourselves in one of the most trying and stressful times of many of our lives, I am trying to stay connected, aware and giving of the things I still can: love, support, kind words and encouragement. I am listening. I am hearing. And the hearts of leaders are working in the most profound and unexpected ways. I tried to capture some of those inspiring and often heart-wrenching moments here. If you are leading in any capacity, this letter is yours.
Here is a love letter…
To you, leader, on the front lines of this medical crisis, working through mental, physical and emotional exhaustion as you unequivocally witness the most devastating realities of scarcity, life and death. When did wellness turn into a full out war?
To you, leader, carrying the crushing weight of lose-lose decisions in hopes of preserving a future for your precious people, your noble work and your life-sustaining relationships.
To you, leader, who rallies out of bed every morning with a mix of dread, fear and resolve, not knowing what lies ahead for you, your team or your children…One. Step. At. A. Time.
To you, leader, desperately trying to see the future in the fog, writing e-mail and managing video calls with a face full of grace and a stomach full of butterflies.
To you, leader, playing teacher, coach, playmate and referee all while trying to katy-bar the door so you can make that video call without Lego figures being hurled across the screen.
To you, leader, stretched so thin with the balance of parenting and professional paradigm shifts, wrestling with the guilt of too-much-screen-time and cereal dinners as you just try to get one e-mail answered. “Just give me two seconds!”
To you, leader, caring for those who need it most-neighbors, friends, parents, co-workers. Offering encouraging words, heartfelt prayers and personal connection, when we are craving it most.
To you, leader, with your new found virtual vulnerability, exposing the inner sanctums of your home as you fight with your spouse on which space is yours. (That’s a beautiful headboard by the way.)
To you, leader, who has quickly mastered the Italian L’arte Di Arrangiarse, bringing your incredible resourcefulness and creativity to make something out of nothing, no matter how impossible it may seem.
To you, leader, who won’t leave your flock, shepherding them with gentleness, tenderness, love and care through the treacherous roads ahead. Green pastures will come.
To you, leader, building more trust every moment, as you reach out to your team, just to see how they are doing-even if you don’t have anything “profound” to say.
To you, leader, quiet and unseen, keeping head bowed low and mind on high, praying for healing, resolution and courage for this world.
To you, leader, creating beauty through word, art and song to lift our spirits and transform the color of our situations.
Yes, my heart goes out to you, leaders, everywhere: overwhelmed and optimistic, heart-broken and hope-driven, realistic and resourceful. Thank you. May you find strength, joy, peace, creativity, rest, reprieve, clarity and commitment in this incredibly challenging time. It is through you and with you that we will rebound, that we will rebuild, that we will renew our trust in the brilliant future that will surely come with each of you at the helm.
With incredible gratitude and awe,
Your humble observer
Format inspired by Emily P. Freeman, Next Right Thing Podcast: A Blessing for Mothers 5/7/2019