At the outset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I changed my email signature to “Together”. Now seven months later, what does that mean, what I have I experienced in working Together with our WTS Stakeholders?
A recent blog by National Institute of Health (NIH) Director, Dr. Francis Collins titled, Building Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic, states ”this is a time where we all need resilience, as well as to help others around us. We’re all called upon, I think, to look after our friends and neighbors in the aftermath of a circumstance like the current pandemic.”
At WTS, we want to be a part of building resilience Together with all our stakeholders. We can reflect on the past months of this Global Pandemic experience, realizing that a crisis is revealing and understanding that we are all in this Together. I am astounded and inspired by the Togetherness that has been revealed in our community of WTS Stakeholders.
“Together” really does improve life and reminds us that we are not passive victims of this pandemic. It means we do not have to face these obstacles alone, nor should we. Rather, intentionally we strive to gather and stay together. The partnerships we have, truly develop into relationships, not because we are organizations in partnership together, but rather we remember that we are people in relationships. We are people who care about collaboration and connection and strive to foster relationships of respect.
I believe there are three characteristics in relationships that are at the core of a strong together that builds resilience. These three are: gratitude, compassionate empathy and relentless kindness.
When we think we thank. Thank you to my fellow teammates, the people who continue to adapt, serve, care and overcome together. Thank you to our customers, the people who work with us to remain safe while collaborating on new solutions to minimize waste and reimaging by-products as valuable inputs to power a circular economy. Thank you to our suppliers, the people who bring unmatched capabilities to safely deploy our sustainable solutions. Thank you to our neighbors, our regulators, our emergency responders, our competitors, the people we learn from and inspire us to continually improve. Thank you to all generations, the people before us and the people to come that entrust us with a stewardship responsibility and frame our future.
If I may, I encourage you to be grateful, to thank all the people around you. This reinforces togetherness and opens the door to the future.
We are empathetic when we strive to imagine how someone else feels, and then even though we do not fully understand how they feel, being filled with compassion we seek to lighten their load. While we go about our interactions, I encourage us all to remember we are people Together. Opportunities abound to lean into conversations and check in with each other. Remember we can still be ourselves and listen. Consider asking the question, “How can I lighten your load today?”
Through compassionate empathy, our partnerships develop into relationships.
While we express gratitude to those around us, take moments to imagine the struggles others face through compassionate empathy, may I further suggest we act with relentless kindness. Extending kindness can be hard but it is so powerful. More than easy pleasantries or being cordial, relentless kindness is a lifestyle, something that we never give up on.
Occasional kindness has limited power. But relentless kindness has the power to restore, inspire, rescue and unite. If we let it, kindness will be a part of what saves us from divisions that seem to have become cemented in how we coexist. Kindness requires a sacrifice, whether our time, our impatience or the dominance of our own opinions. Together, a moment of kindness can become an irreversible movement.
Our WTS Chairman Gary Hall said to me last week, “Let’s continue to build a resilient future Together with our stakeholders”. I agree with Gary and I am inspired each day by you our stakeholder, pushing forward and getting through. We got this: Together with gratitude, compassionate empathy and relentless kindness.