My friend Rich Harwood asked his network to share their essential learnings from tumultuous 2020. Rich is Founder and President of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. What I wrote him follows.
- I found managing 2020’s twists and turns was similar to what I have had to do since 2014 with my devilish Parkinson’s disease. It is essential to be both purposeful and improvisational. Purposeful means waking each day knowing I have –and must exercise– a steadfast mission to serve others afflicted with Parkinson’s. That’s my primary way of “Making God’s Love Real,” the watchword of my Tampa church home, Hyde Park Methodist.
To meet that strategic challenge, I must endlessly find new tactical tools. Put plainly, I am making stuff up on the fly to keep our PD community informed and engaged–despite covid-19 socialization restrictions. Add to that the limitations of Zoom and other tech substitutes for in-person interactions.
2. I have reinforced my commitment to “being there” for people and being transparent in my motives and intent. Most organizations we encounter daily act on internal imperatives, not the needs of their clients, customers and patients. It is vital to challenge inwardness with unrelenting outward focus. My intent is to make “good trouble” for the deprived and voiceless.
3. To my frequent discomfort, I have learned that 24/7 domestic togetherness shines penetrating light on even the strongest marriages. Discomforting rubs must be surfaced and faced, not kicked down the road. Three virtues are essential for this crucial, unending journey. Acceptance and restraint. Patience with unchangeable mental and emotional mindsets. God-given forgiveness.