March 31, 2020

pov: Giving Yourself and Others Grace

Adjustment to new things takes time under normal circumstances. We are not under normal circumstances. With the pandemic and earthquakes (for those of us in the Wasatch Front), I hope each of you are giving yourselves and others grace.

I also hope that each of you and your families are safe and healthy and if you must go out, that you do so with caution. I know summer is a distant dream and it seems like a really long time but I do believe that, if we all do our part and stay home, we will get back to the normal we know and love sooner rather than later.

Over the past couple weeks here at UNA we have been working diligently to be purposeful in our communications and resources so that each of you can take the best route for your organization. Early on in this crisis, Team UNA recognized that you all would be pulled in so many ways and that it would be confusing, anger inducing, and frightening. It is because of that that we started a COVID-19 resource page on our website.

Now that the bills have been passed and the lending institutions have started to create processes, it is time for action. The conversations I have had with many of you have been hopeful. I also am really touched by how our collective fear of the COVID-19 pandemic did not make us shy away from wanting to be at the epicenter to be helpful, provide resources, and assure that those in our community most impacted can be helped. That passion and drive makes me so proud. I stand with you as a leader who is uncertain of what will come in the next two to three months and worried about our revenue, but I also stand with you as a leader who is ready to plant my feet on a path that progresses through the pain, the heartache, and the uncertainty and leads us to a brighter, more certain future.

All of UNA’s training has been moved online. Our Credential courses will look and feel different, but our content remains remarkable and useful. Here is a link to our training calendar. We are still planning on our Annual Conference in September and are currently prepping for both an in-person and a virtual conference. The decision will be made by July on how we will gather for this annual event. We have established a forum for Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers to connect with each other. This exclusive group can be a great place to share stories of impact and problem solve issues. It is exclusive to ED/CEO’s and UNA will ensure that access to the group is monitored. If you are an Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer and would like to join, email this address to begin the process.

From a personal perspective I want to share that this has been the most challenging month I have had in a really long time. And it is forcing me to do an exercise that I picked up in the Peace Corps when I felt boxed-in. It’s what I like to call – Back to Basics. I think about current circumstances. I reflect on the choices that got me to where I am. And I recall that original passion I had when I made the leap. Getting back to basics for me centers my feelings and emotions and reminds me that there is a path to take and I have the ability to make the right choices to get me there.

We are living in some wild and uncertain times. We are all going to have to dig deep as professionals, family, friends, and community members. I will continue to lead with grace and I will continue forward on this path no matter how rocky it gets. I hear you. I see you. I have faith in you.