One aspect of my work at Alignment, Inc. consists of working with individual leaders and their teams when they face uber challenges and obstacles. These hurdles could be the necessity to shift strategy based on competitive pressures, resolving dysfunctional behaviors within an executive team or board, or simply working with an executive who has ‘lost their plot’ or realizes their need to re-invent themselves in this new world economy. The consistent desire is to be in a state of alignment – whether this is a well-aligned go-to-market strategy, strong teamwork or knowing how and where you want to contribute as an individual.
For the most part, my clients show a tremendous level of resiliency and tenacity when navigating rough waters. However, there is not one of us who has experienced a life where everything is sunshine and roses. That just isn’t the way life in ‘earth school’ works. We all know the adage ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’; and nothing could be more true. I have clients and colleagues facing cancer, divorce, an Alzheimer diagnosis of a parent or friend, the requirement to lay off 50% of their team due to budget constraints, financial ruin, and even the loss of their homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. We may be learning from these hard times, yet that does not make them any easier to endure.
So, today, a little over one week after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to highlight a few heroic stories of everyday people, which regardless of whether we have been personally affected by this most recent tragedy, will re-instill faith and hope in humanity and add perspective to our own challenges.
- The strangers that put up 20 families they did not know, as they needed a place to stay.
- The restaurant owner that brought 40 cans of dog food, 20,000 pounds of chips and dip, and 40,000 bottles of water to the shores of New Jersey…driving from Michigan to deliver them.
- The 29-year-old county employee who answered one distress call, and ended up saving countless victims swimming and navigating tumultuous waters to reach them – often 25+ feet away in the rising tides.
- The good Samaritan taxi driver who ferried passengers at only what they could afford.
- The staff at the New York City hospital that carried over 250 patients down 15 flights of stairs in the dark to evacuate them.
- The 190+ fire fighters who fought to contain the historical Breezy Point blaze that wiped out their fellow fire fighter’s homes.
- The hundreds of anonymous volunteers who continue to give their time and energies as they help this area restore power and get back on their feet.
There is a marvelous quotation from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which offers a sense of hope: “Everything will be all right in the end. And if it is not alright, then it is not the end.” So, for those facing unforeseen challenge and hardship such as our friends on the East Coast, or are simply embarking on an exciting opportunity which will require hard work, perseverance and that can-do attitude – take stock in knowing it is indeed ‘not over til its over’.