President's Message
May 13, 2020

Subject:  Tips for staying resilient during a business crisis - lessons from 2008 

Be Curious, Be Courageous, Be Bold, and Be Grateful!

On May 4, 2020, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled A Surprising Way to Stay Resilient  CITATION Ber20 \l 1033 (Bernstein, 2020) that documented what a former pro basketball player is doing in the middle of this worldwide crisis. The athlete has always focused on his health, “being careful to eat right, drink a lot of water, get enough sleep and stay active.” But, since this pandemic started, he’s been mindful of one more thing…gratefulness! Reminding yourself what you’re grateful for can boost your mental health and help you cope with coronavirus stress. Did you know that?

Not too much has changed over the last month. However, most of us are getting better with the daily challenges of conducting business virtually, sharing internet capacity with the rest of the family, being homeschool teachers, and muddling our way through government assistant to find a way to survive.

Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to lead.  A colleague of mine said, “As leaders, we understand that someone’s best efforts may not be what we have imagined. At this point, we dig in, so that we may understand what is happening and move forward with the goal of ensuring a second chance. This is where grace is found. We all need it.”

In 2008 I led a firm of 60 people through the recession. There are several notable similarities between then and now:

  • My family and friends stood by me when I needed a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to an idea.  True today.
  • The employees within the firm were a part of a healthy culture that includes them understanding “the good, the bad, and the ugly” status of the business. True today.
  • The relationship with the community banker was key.  So true today!

We may not understand why others do or do not share our view on COVID-19, taking the same precautions or lack thereof.  However, it is our job, as HR leaders, to move our places of work forward. As we continue to focus on Mental Health in the Workplace, I’d like to encourage you to think about how you have taken care of yourself and your family over the last month. Did you reflect on what you are grateful for like the basketball player mentioned above?

I encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for each and every day.


A few AHRMA announcements:

      1. New Meet-up “Happy Hour” scheduled for June 4th.
      2. New virtual meeting to help our members that are “in transition” with an expert panel to provide guidance on finding that next job.
      3. Adding monthly virtual member meetings & relevant programming at no charge to our members.  Topics such as workforce safety issues, navigating the virtual world, and keeping our mental and physical health.

AHRMA is uncertain about when we can safely meet face-to-face again. As we make scheduling adjustments, updates will be posted on the events calendar of our website and on our social media.  

Finally, I am thrilled that we have a community as strong as AHRMA that recognize the need to take action. If you need help please reach out to the AHRMA office, or me personally, and we will do our best to connect you with the appropriate services.

This presidency’s dream is a call for you to be curious about being a servant leader. To have courage to stand up for others in our communities.  To be bold in how we fight for a better quality of life for others.  You belong at AHRMA!

With appreciation and love,

Lisa Blanton
2020 President
Austin Human Resource Management Association

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