Being a calm centre in the storm to create a future, together

Like many of you, over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to get to grips with my thoughts and responses to the crisis that Covid-19 has plunged us into. I’m intrigued that I feel a great sense of calm.

I am surprised because there is a lot for me to potentially feel disturbed by. I have family – including my 90-year-old mother – living with me. Our precious sons are grown men with their partners and families, including, of course, our grandchildren. I have very dear friends who are in red zones all over the world.  There are likely to be some very demanding situations including the potential for deep and profound loss. I know the best way for me to navigate this is to be present, attentive, calm and focused. Focussed on what I can do and not on what I can’t. I need to stay connected to whatever is a good resource for me.

When I pause to reflect on everything, I realise I have done everything I can do to manage this situation. I also know I can navigate whatever challenges come my way, including illness and even death. Although I would not want to go that way, if it was the case I would want to go peacefully. And now I know where my sense of calm comes from, my existential questions are silent.

With that calmness comes a great sense of purpose. In what way can I contribute? We are in this together, every single one of us; no-one is exempt. It enables me to be fully present with what needs attention now, whilst keeping an eye on the future and where our actions are guiding us. Perhaps the most important thing at this time is to respond insightfully, compassionately and adaptively. To be able to hold both the immediate present and the future in sight at the same time. To be attentive to people’s needs and to lead both systemically and adaptively.

Organisations that create a deep sense of community and keep focussed on their purpose, vision and objectives will ensure they are in a position of strength given the context. They will be positioning themselves well as we move through this. Society needs a healthy economy, as much as we need our health and wellbeing. They are intricately linked.

This is a time where everyone who has leadership capability in them is needed. We need those who can connect to the bigger picture, guided by their inner compass to hold space so we can be grounded and secure, be in the creative tension that is inherent in this situation and stay focussed on working together to experiment and discover what is required to move forward to our future, together. It is a time to resist saying ‘it won’t work’ and instead explore how it might be possible. Our future depends upon it. It is required in every field and in every context.