Twelve months ago, as I sat down with a cup of “Joe” to pen a 4th Quarter Cup of Joe for our quarterly newsletter, the world remained in the grips of a battle with a virus whose impact seemed to have no boundaries, touching all aspects of life – physical, emotional, relationships, work, school, healthcare, politics and even faith. One year ago, having already gained scars that come from battling a relentless foe, we struggled to grasp the potential duration and bottomless depth of a war none of us ever imagined we’d face.
And so, a year ago I offered a story that highlighted the topic of “Overcoming.” Here is the link to that article: https://www.bristolglobal.com/cup-of-joe/overcoming-2020/. Today, after more than 18 months of living on an asymmetric and ever-evolving battlefield, much has been lost and perhaps, even more has been learned.
Life in its fullest and broadest sense has changed for everyone and nearly every “thing!” We humans are, if anything, fascinating and imperfect… It would therefore seem obvious to suggest that around the world, our well-intentioned countermeasures have produced a wide spectrum of results. 18+ months of struggling to combat and at the same time, adjust and continue living with Covid, has left many comprehensively exhausted. Confusion still reigns at uncomfortably high levels. When will the virus subside? When will we no longer have to hear about mask mandates? Case counts? Hospitalizations and Covid-related deaths? Variants and vaccines? Is it safe to eat inside restaurants? Can we work out at gyms? When can we safely return to the office?
At this stage of the pandemic, you would be immensely fortunate to have not been touched by Covid. Most of us know someone, if not more than a few, whom have contracted the virus and have had to be hospitalized. Sadly, some of us know a person/people, who succumbed to the virus.
While I’ll refrain from making my own prognostications as to all that lies ahead, I can say with a very high degree of confidence, that we have made substantial progress and have taken large swaths of territory back from our enemy! We don’t often take the time to simply sit, in quiet, and take account. All that has been lost and all the more that has been learned. The world has indeed adjusted and has learned how to co-exist with a nimble and lethal foe. It’s not perfect… far from it! However, societies around the world have deployed their respective forms of defense that has allowed people and business to inch back toward varying measures of normalcy.
As a global society/army confronting a common threat, we all have miles to go before we achieve “victory”, however that becomes defined. Yet, if the stamina and will-to-fight were ever in question, humans across the globe have put those doubts to rest.
I could be slightly biased…however, I believe the global employee mobility industry has markedly distinguished itself by proving to be unwaveringly durable, flexible and nimble, courageous and committed to serving corporations and their relocating employees, while also balancing all of the Covid dynamics, the stress and confusion and frustrations and heart-break that have spared no one. In my humble opinion, we have witnessed truly heroic work at every level of our industry during these pandemic days.
I closed my article from a year ago by stating, “Important questions have been and will continue to be asked of us all. Questions that are not only specific to adjusted business strategies and tactics, but individually.” I then posed the following questions:
- How have “we” navigated these tumultuous times?
- What attitudes have we embraced?
- What images have we portrayed?
Twelve months later, “we” have more than adequately answered these questions! With eye-popping bravery, our industry has remained strong, vibrant, committed to our cause and CONNECTED at historic levels. Daily, we have put on full display the most positive, passionate and purposeful attitudes that have always, always served as THE strong cornerstone of our industry. The tireless acts of serving others, carried out every second of the work-day, have underscored the immense value we offer to corporations around the world, whom seek to deploy their most precious asset in the safest, smoothest and most stress-free manner possible.
Webster defines “Overcoming” as: To achieve victory over. The truth is, overcoming is a lifelong process of facing fears and finding victory along our respective life journeys. The day will come when the pandemic ceases to be the type of force and foe it is today. We will achieve victory over Covid at some point. And then, we will be tasked to overcome again, and again, and again.
Having spent more than 35 years in the global mobility arena, I can provide first-hand testimony to the relentless onslaught of challenge, bringing of course, abundant opportunity to band together and innovate in ways that are designed to achieve victory, again and again…
This week our industry gathers in Chicago, partially en masse. While the crowd is expected to be abbreviated, our industry will be well-represented and will again produce a few days of high-quality learning and important, dare I say vital, reconnecting. In many ways, this particular annual Worldwide Employee Relocation Council Symposium will serve as a shining illustration of all that makes our industry so captivating and so limitlessly valuable! Our gathering will represent more territory taken back and a pronouncement of victory in a battle which will ultimately lead to the greater victory over this dreaded virus!
I look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago!