Crisis management

In business and in life, there are significant moments when you’ll inevitably face a challenge of epic proportions. It’s simply a part of the journey, and often the greatest nuggests of wisdom come from the struggle.

I recall sitting with the CEO of Dial, as he talked about a major challenge they’d overcome. I’ve sat with entrepreneurs facing major decisions about their businesses. I’ve held the hands of children in the moments following an airplane crash, knowing that they’ve lost their parents, forever. Managing a crisis is not easy. Sometimes there are no easy solutions, no words.

The peaks and valleys of life and business, will shape and mold you into the human you are today.

Nevertheless, no one wants to face obstacles, and when you’re in the mire, it seems neverending.

CS Lewis wrote something to the effect that grief sometimes feels like a neverending circular valley.  Recently at a booksigning at Barnes n Noble, a beautiful girl sat in the crowd, silent. I fielded questions from readers, and tried to search for her in the back of my mind. Who was she? Had I seen her before?

After it was over she waited for the last person in line to leave. ‘I have a personal question,” she said, her eyes filled with tears.

She handed me a long letter, typewritten, that she had prepared just for me. As we talked privately between a stack of books, my heart was filled with compassion for her. She’d lost her corporate job, her car, her apartment, and was at the edge of herself. She’d lost so much, yet here she was this gorgeous healthy woman standing before me, in tears, struggling to see the light. I love what I do and it seems the only way I can be more effective is to write more, to reach a hurting world.

Grief is so individual for each one of us. Can you recognize it in others?

Sometimes I walk by someone and it seems as if they are covered in a blanket of grief. These are the times when a simple touch, or word, can help turn a life in a positive direction. And then there are times when we must endure and offer hope.

In my past role as a crisis manager I worked a commercial airplane crash in Cali Colombia in which everyone on board died except for four passengers. Working there on the ground with the families in search of their loved ones is a crisis you never forget. It was a tragedy in which many lives were changed.

Thankfully, most of life is not like that. But it’s the obstacles large and small that strengthen.

At times we have a crisis that feels like a 10 on the richter scale, and at others they are small cracks in the foundation of our lives. In all of it, God has a plan to sharpen you. God’s got your back.

How do you handle the crisis in your life? Reach out, as a first step. Take an outstretched hand. Chances are someone around you has been through a valley, to the other side.

1 Comment

  1. Tammy,
    I can tell you’re an inspirational and loving person. I have done volunteer work since 1986, and the gratification and pleasure I receive by serving others helps me through difficulties. No matter how many problems I think I have personally, there are a lot more people that don’t have it as good as me. Praying, meditation, and contemplation are great outlets and knowing that we’re doing God’s will is very comforting.
    Take care and keep up the good work!

    Reply

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