My hat is off to those on the front lines – nurses, doctors, emergency services, and essential business employees who are working through this pandemic. Yesterday, a young man and woman delivered groceries to my car. I loaded my car so that these two could keep their distance. Both talked about being careful not to bring anything harmful home to their families. Wow. I felt for both of them.
My numerous once-in-a-lifetime experiences from my service in the Air Force remain vivid and wonderful in my memory. From operating as an airborne cryptologic linguist to performing duties as a judge advocate for the special operations wing, I met with various challenges. Regardless of my capacity, I learned two invaluable lessons: rely on your training and take care of your team. The guy next to you may not be on your short list of best buddies, but when the balloon goes up, you take care of him and he takes care of you. In hindsight, I recall so many times that the team took care of each other and got us through.
I attended law school between my service as an enlisted man and an officer. My law school graded on a bell curve. So, the median grade was a B- and even some very smart people were going to get grades on the lower end of the curve. Some folks took the team approach and worked together with study partners or study groups. Others chose to work alone. But, still a few others chose to do things like razor entire cases out of the reference books in the law library. This was before electronic searches were used in law schools. Can you imagine that? Someone was willing to cut information out of books that his 200 classmates needed so that he “wins”.
I like this analogy. You and I are going to climb the “corporate ladder”. We can climb, fight, kick, pull each other down as we work our way up the ladder. That will be incredibly time consuming and waste incredible amounts of effort. We may never make it to the top. Or, I can boost you up, and you can pull me up. You might get to the peak a moment before me, but our ascent is so much faster, efficient and pleasant.
From what the experts tell us, our response to COVID-19 will be much more efficient and effective if we use the lessons taught by the military - rely on our training and take care of the team. We are receiving a great deal of information on safe practices from social distancing to hand washing to buying supplies in reasonable quantities. The experts tell us that putting these practices into action in our everyday lives will work to limit the spread of this virus. We are taking care of our team. Yes, our families, friends, coworkers, community members … people. Our team is comprised of the people with whom we share this world and its resources.
We are all in this together. There may still be a few that cut the pages out of the books, so to speak, but let’s try to get them on the team. Best to all and God Bless.