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Commitment to Community

Finding Our Strength to Lead

By | Commitment to Community | 2 Comments

I’ll admit it. I’ve never led a company through a global pandemic. Neither has my informal advisory board of business mentors, girlfriends, my hairdresser, or that guy who delivered the toilet paper I ordered on Amazon. And neither have you. We are all at a loss. Every day brings a new statistic, a new response, a new revelation. We watch. We wait. Or we scurry as if just doing something will insulate us from a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous situation. A month ago I smugly thought I knew what VUCA stood for. Funny how a little perspective can change everything.

The word “unprecedented” is suddenly in the spotlight, appearing on the news, in social media, and in corporate communications so often it has started wearing sunglasses and refusing to sign autographs. If you are a leader (and I would argue that all of us are, if even of our own twitchy, anxious selves), you may be wondering how you can lead without a GPS. Fair enough. Me too.

Maybe we need to return to that word, “perspective.” We can focus on what we don’t know, or we can rely on what we most certainly do. You know what you’re good at. That has precedent. Rely on it. You know what others are good at. Rely on that, too.

I know my strengths. I’m optimistic, for one. I believe in the human capacity to change, learn, and grow – even in the most challenging of circumstances. I believe that applies to all of us. Even Justin Bieber. I am also a hell of a problem solver, know more than a little somethin’ about virtual workforce development, and bring my whole heart to everything I do. I care about people, their well-being, and their professional success. Yes, of course, I could make a long list of the things I’m not good at – just ask my 15-year-old. But that’s not the point. The point is: although I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, I know how I’ve been successful in the past. I can use what I know to help. And you can too.

Maybe you can rock a pivot table that helps evaluate financial impact. Maybe you understand how to rework the details of a project plan so your team stays productive. Maybe you know how to leverage social media to help communicate during this crisis. Maybe you have the empathy to recognize when someone is in pain and needs a virtual shoulder to cry on. You may be the person who responds first. Or who wheels an elderly person up to a window to see her son through the glass. Or who keeps the peace.

Each of you, all of you, we need your strengths to lead us.

I hope something salvageable comes out of this misery, some transformational insight or growth. My heart aches for those most vulnerable: the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the jobless. I hope we will learn to protect them better. I hope as we shelter in our homes we recognize that to be able to do so is a luxury and that it deepens our capacity for gratitude. I hope that, in honor of those courageous people who are swabbing, testing, treating, cleaning, delivering, restocking and otherwise keeping the lights on, we develop a new level of appreciation for the strengths of others. And, I hope that all of us struggling to navigate in the dark will take a moment to remember that our strengths are our strength and that we each decide to use them in unprecedented ways, to lead one another toward the light.

Microlearning:  How to Create Exceptionally Productive Teams in a Virtual World

By | Change Management, Commitment to Community, Learning | No Comments

To help you implement or expand your remote working programs, The CARA Group has created this quick microlearning to help your virtual teams become exceptionally productive! These best practices come from our years of experience helping global companies transform their workforce. We hope you like it and share it with others who find it useful.

Feed-My-Starving-Children-Give-Back-Photo

CARA Team Members Share the Spirit of Holiday Giving!

By | Commitment to Community | One Comment

During the holidays, the CARA team takes time out from our busy schedules to remember that our commitment to the future extends to our community. This year we volunteered our time at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization that funds, packages, and delivers meals to hungry children all over the world. As you can tell by the reflections of our team, being able to give is a gift in itself.

Feed My Starving Children

“At CARA, we’re known for our culture. In fact, CARA means “friend” in Gaelic. When we volunteer as a team, it helps us share that culture in service of others. Earlier in the year we walked together towards a cure for Pancreatic Cancer. Today, through our teamwork, we fed 54 children for a year. Volunteering is the ultimate feel-good and do-good teambuilding activity.” Michelle Reid-Powell, President and CEO

Feed My Starving Children

“I have been extremely blessed throughout my life, so being able to give back through organizations like Feed My Starving Children is an opportunity I will jump at every time!” Barry Larson, Account Executive

Feed My Starving Children

“We all have a lot going on-both professionally and personally.  I love taking a moment to pause in my own chaos and help someone else.  The reason I love doing it is simple-it just makes me feel good to help someone.” Nicole Chiscon, Engagement Director

Feed My Starving Children

“It’s always good to think of someone else every now and then.  And that makes you feel good about yourself.” Jim Bush, Controller

Feed My Starving Children

Together, we packaged 91 boxes of food. That came to 19,656 meals, 54 kids fed for a year, and covered $4,717.44 of costs. Feed My Starving Children makes volunteering fun!  If you would like to get involved with this organization, visit their website at https://www.fmsc.org/.

Let us know – what are you doing to give back this holiday season?