Some Things COVID-19 Has Not Changed
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Last week I wrote about things I believe COVID-19 has changed. It is still early, but I offered a few insights. It is easy to begin to only see what has changed in our lives because of the crisis. However, many things have not been changed by COVID-19. These are things that often matter most to us and the community. I’d like to spend a few minutes talking about those things.

The importance of manufacturers to our communities and country has not changed – and never will. If anything, manufacturers have never been more important to our health and economic well-being. Our future will depend on us getting right what should be made in the United States. We can see now that many more things than we accounted for need to be made right here in our state and country. Our food supply, our health care needs, and our economic security are just as important as our national security. This goes well beyond defense products.

Trusting relationships are critical to our work and lives. We see this more than ever during a crisis. We need to lean on each other and be able to walk this journey together. Our values bind us together. Our sense of community makes us stronger. We need to be prepared to be both strong and vulnerable with each other. The more we work together, the more we will get done. A crisis can bind us in ways that normal situations often don’t. This crisis can make us more resilient.

Good leaders are essential to success. Leaders in a crisis need to practice some different skills. Quick responses, taking care of people, effective communication, and focusing on what matters are areas that are heightened when we are under stress. However, these are the same skills used to sustain us in “normal” times, just used somewhat differently. We will need good leaders more than ever as we move through the current situation back to our new normal.

Finding silver linings in every situation is a skill we need always. We just need more of it now. Now is the time to take this vital skill out and use it every day. It is sometimes vital to get through the day. We can find the good in others and in ourselves despite the most difficult challenges. Silver linings do this always.

What has stayed the same in your life? How has it sustained you during this crisis? Have you identified what has stayed the same and is sustaining you in the work of others? Can you find ways to thank them for what they do for you?

I am thankful for what has stayed the same in my life. Manufacturing remains vital, trusting relationships abound, good leaders are everywhere, and there are plenty of silver linings to find in my everyday life. As we move forward, let’s preserve what has worked well for us and our organizations.