United we stand.
The history and mythology that accompany this phrase are in the very fiber of our nature. Our “fight” is strong when we have a common goal. This quote is first attributed to one of the Founding Fathers, John Dickinson, in 1768 in his pre-revolutionary war song “The Liberty Song.” Further used throughout the years since by politicians and pop stars, it captures the American spirit. That spirit of coming together to support a common cause – one that threatens our way of life – is in our DNA.
The ability to rally around a common goal and witnessing the results in real time is truly impressive. Organizations and individuals, and obviously countries, typically have too many initiatives in flight at the same time to have anything but a diffused impact. In the case of the American response to the COVID-19 crisis, all flashlights are pointing in the same direction to create the brightest light in the fight for our healthcare system and our people.
Having a unified goal to ensure that the healthcare system can support the needs of the American people has resulted in the rare alignment of government agencies, corporations, and individuals. We are seeing major pharmaceutical companies donating critical medicines, large corporations donating ventilators, researchers collaborating across country borders at an unprecedented level, citizens sewing N95 masks and fashioning face shields, the list goes on. Pushing other goals and political agendas aside, and leading the country to do the same, has made space for this focus. The clear actions of each along with the results and impacts show that with this unified focus, we can make quick progress.
As we take another look at our 2020 strategic plan, we are taking into consideration not only the changed environment and economy, but also a change in perspective. Our daily calendars are already filled to the brim, and we constantly get pulled into new opportunities and challenges, making it difficult to focus. As we look at the impact that can be made in real time with a singular purpose, we can take that perspective to remind us that we could use the same approach with business and our personal lives.
Acting with intention and purpose is really powerful and can accelerate growth. Having limited time and resources really forces us to be more intentional with them. While I sit here typing this in the kitchen at my makeshift desk to accommodate being able to work from home AND homeschool my three wonderful children, I am a little overwhelmed by the responsibility, and more than a little inspired by the resilience of my coworkers, my neighbors, and my children – my fellow Americans.
What act of generosity or kindness have you witnessed that has caught your attention during these stressful times? How has your perspective shifted? Please share with us.
United with all of you in spirit –