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Resilience is the ability to bounce back with each obstacle we face.
We all face challenges in our lives, and for some, the quick coming of the coronavirus isn’t the hardest, but for many of us, it absolutely is. As a business owner with what has been classified as a “recession proof business” I never foresaw such a hard and fast blow. I recently compared the feeling of running my business during this time to flying a plane without gas, unsure if there was a safe place to land. The uncertainty at times has been crippling.
Still, we are the lucky ones. LUNA, unlike many, is functioning as an essential service providing language interpreters in hospitals and to other essential services. We are still flying, albeit with a much lighter load. We committed to keep our staff intact with promise of federal assistance as long as we possibly can. This decision gave us all something to fight for knowing that when the economy opens back up, we will all need to be ready to jump right in.
During the third week of quarantine I started questioning my ability and the ability of my leadership team to keep up this pace. Many of us have children at home who we are trying to teach, or teams we manage who we are trying to lead, and a body and mind of our own we are trying to keep healthy and functioning–all without our normal support systems of friends and community connections. In the face of uncertainty I realized that what I lack and what we all needed was a resiliency plan.
By focusing on the muscles in our organizations that help us rise up, we will build confidence in our ability to do so, and with that confidence we can withstand this new economy for certain.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back with each obstacle we face. In psychology it is commonly studied as an attribute in children (and others) that enables people to withstand great hardship and sometimes come out ahead. In the construction field it identifies buildings and communities that withstand damage in the face of an extreme event. In nature, it is an ecosystem’s ability to not be destroyed by disaster, but to continue to function. Unless a business is ready to throw in the towel, a plan to rise up could be helpful.
Starting today, LUNA will be launching its own resilience plan focusing on our response to the disruption of COVID-19. It will focus on positive approaches, innovation, and connections with other organizations and individuals. We will start sharing an internal wellness program around our culture of caring out to the public. We will be shifting our 2020 roadmap from growth focused benchmarks to benchmarks rewarding innovation and efficiency.
In our outreach we will be modeling not for profit and public health coalition approaches to our service lines in order to more efficiently share resources to other companies who are also facing disruption.
I urge other business owners to do the same. We can collectively demonstrate through social media and elsewhere depictions of our resilience plan to one another. By focusing on the muscles in our organizations that help us rise up, we will build confidence in our ability to do so, and with that confidence we can withstand this new economy for certain.
Marina Hadjioannou Waters is the President and co-owner of LUNA Language Services an Indianapolis based company providing the community with language access.