The Beauty of Uncertainty

Ready, set…wait a minute…ok.

I just don’t know when, where, or how to start our operation in a post-COVID-19 world. I’ve read hundreds of articles and sat through webinars and podcasts hosted by well-known epidemiologists and business strategists. The overwhelming consensus from the smartest minds across the globe is, ‘we don’t know.’

No one knows when the financial markets will normalize, what new spending patterns will develop, or the acceptable trade-off between the nation’s health and the economy.

As stewards of organizations, you must make the best guess possible and flex whenever an impregnable wall is presented, all the while being confident and answering questions from your team. Your answers are not based on careful analysis of facts and forecasts, but from stringing together hopes, dreams, and wishes. It’s not fair. Our employees believe that running an organization is about facts and figures, and really, it’s about direction, motivation, and momentum.

In an effort to have employees feel a sense of control and predictability, many leaders have turned to misdirection and presentations that make incongruent world events make sense. The alternative to this is simply to share the facts that you know in the context of either the mission of the organization or your personal mission.

Whether the issue is the uncertainty of the day or worrying about the uncertainty of tomorrow, certainty is no more than the gaps between turbulent periods. Some periods are more turbulent than others.

I believe uncertainty is consistent. I believe our mission is the stake in the ground, our mission is our north star and our direction to true north. When the events around us change we can all find comfort that there is at least one mental reference point: our mission.

To say we are not concerned with some of the issues would not be honest. But leaning into uncertainty and admitting our ignorance of the meaning of the events around us creates an opportunity for the organization’s culture and mission to speak. For Alignstaffing, the essence of our mission is to help one person, who will then help their family, and in turn help and build their community.

Since COVID-19 and the George Floyd movement, we’ve still been working and we’re still following our north star. Virtually, we’ve been helping people and developing programs. We have even invested in additional technology and restructured internally to change the client experience. And, yes, we are planning for the uncertain future.

We are contemplating the balance between virtual and brick and mortar, CDC requirements, ramp-up time, and fears of virus and racial tension. I freely admit I have no idea what the short or long-term future holds. However, we’re comfortable managing the issues between the gaps as long as our mission is consistent.

By our definition, today and tomorrow will always be good days, and we are thankful to keep spending them with partners like you.

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Aaron Copeland

Aaron Copeland

Entrepreneur and forward-thinking community advocate with 20+ years of experience in education and mental health services.