Jordan Cudney - North Platte
In the early days of March, a “new normal” was thrust upon us as activity directors here in the state of Nebraska. Our world was flipped upside down as contests were cancelled, seasons ended, and schools shut down for the remainder of the spring. One day as I was scrolling through my social media feed on Twitter, I came across a well known public speaker/leadership consultant’s post where they used the following phrase, “don’t waste a good crisis”. This phrase initially was particularly hard for me to digest as on the surface it seemed to trivialize the seriousness and gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Nebraska and across America. There were tremendous societal issues revealing themselves on a daily basis with people losing their lives, jobs being cut, and families being placed under tremendous amounts of personal and financial stress and all this leadership guru could say was “don’t waste a good crisis”? However, when removing those words from the context of the situation around us, there are some truths to be mined from that statement. And it made me think of three practical questions we can ask ourselves during this time to challenge and change ourselves for the better!
The first question we can ask ourselves is “What have I learned about myself?”. The current situation we are in right now is unprecedented for us in our profession! We all have a large block of time that was consumed with before and after school duties now given back to us and it is up to us individually to decide how we want to use it. I encourage us all to slow down and reflect on who we are outside of our role as an activity director. This is a time where we can ask ourselves what we are passionate about, what activities we can do with our families which we have put off, or maybe what books we would like to read for our personal or professional growth.
The second question we can ask ourselves is “What have I learned about my profession?” Being in our new normal provides extra time to develop ourselves from a professional standpoint as well! This time may provide you the opportunity to learn a new skill or use a new technology that can make your job more efficient and manageable. This time could also provide you the opportunity to engage in professional development classes to further your impact and influence as an activities director. Or potentially you can use this time to get to connect with your staff in a deeper, more meaningful way.
The final question we can ask ourselves before we exit out of the “new normal” and head back into what we know as “normal” is “What rhythm of life do I want to keep moving forward?” I hope the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a margin of time for you to include some life giving things into your daily routine. Maybe through this time you have been better about getting up and getting movement into your day. Or maybe you have enjoyed spending more time with your family in the morning before all your Zoom meetings or in the evening when the day has concluded. Or maybe you have developed a good habit of spending time in good books or listening to beneficial podcasts. Whatever new rhythm you may have adopted during this time, I encourage you to fight hard to continue on with it when we return to “normal”.
The phrase “don’t waste a good crisis” though short-sighted and heartless on the surface, has some meaning and impact we can carry into our personal and professional lives! I wish you and your loved ones all the best as we transition out of the spring season and into the summer season.