Saturday, June 18

Practicing Resiliency and Gratitude

When I came home to my cottage last night, I noticed pine branches littering my driveway, preventing me from being able to enter. Once I made my way up the cottage, I noticed a screen blown out of the porch door and a 40 pound plant moved across the porch. Hmmm.

I turned on a few lights and discovered heavy metal furniture had been tossed right off the deck. Uh-oh. I straightened up the best I could in the dark, looking forward to hearing from my neighbors in the morning about what kind of gust must have come through to create such a mess.

This morning, I awakened to a yard littered with fallen trees—fallen and transported from someone else’s property! (see photo) My neighbors reported that we were the lucky ones. Further down the island, boats had been blown out of the water and crushed into buildings, trees ripped from the ground and hurled through the air--one with such force that it went in one side of a building and out the other. They won't have phone service or power for a while.

That put today’s unplanned cleanup into perspective. Nobody injured. Even my osprey and barn swallow babies all survived. Just a real mess. Something I could handle.

As I was clearing debris, I couldn’t help thinking about how often this happens in organizations. Some unexpected storm blows in, you discover in stages how widespread the damage is--and then you have to put it into perspective, clean it up, and move on. This takes resiliency, and it is essential in these stormy times for both individuals and organizations. My colleague Al Siebert, author of The Survivor Personality, believes that resiliency can’t be taught, but it can be learned. I used today’s cleanup activities as practice in resiliency and gratitude that my damage hadn't been worse.

As you work toward building connectivity and achieving greater purpose and harmony in your organization, don’t forget to practice resiliency and gratitude. They will serve you well the next time an unexpected storm hits. And, hey, if you recognize the lob lolly pine in the photo as yours, contact me to claim it before I get to clearing that section!