Nancy Koehn, a Harvard historian, recently published a book titled Forged in Crisis  that tells the stories of leaders,  faced with tremendous challenges and hardships who manage through them with inner strength, perseverance and determination.  The book reminds readers that despite impossible odds, failures and fear, people can find renewed strength and resilience to carry on, no matter what challenges they face.

Of course we aren’t facing anything like the problems of the leaders she describes in her book, but, Covid-19 and the experience of loss bring unique challenges all their own.  We may not be leading teams or governments but we are leading ourselves through this crisis, so perhaps some lessons from the book can offer inspiration and hope as we navigate the future.

Here are a few takeaways – do you agree or disagree with these points?  Let us know in the comments below:

  • When our circumstances change, we need to change with them.  We can’t go backwards so we must go forwards – we must “walk into the moment.”
  • If the moment is difficult,  what can we do to improve and grow despite the circumstances?
  • What’s your routine?  Even if you aren’t doing the normal things you used to do, establishing a routine will help  keep yourself on track.  What will you focus on each day and what things would you like to accomplish or what projects can you start as you see the fall and winter approach?
  • We need to be comfortable with not being able to predict the future.  Covid has changed our lives and things may not  return to exactly the way they were before.  How can we find positive ways to adapt to the changes and accept the new normal?
  • Resilience is a muscle we build.  What can we work  on  every day to build our resilience and make an improvement in our lives and those of  family and friends?
  • Stay connected.  What can we do to help others?   If we focus on we instead of I, we  not only improve the lives of others but we enhance our own lives.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about Nancy Koehn and her book, check out this YouTube video  – it’s almost an hour long so you will need some time to view it, but it is an interesting walk through the lives of leaders who were facing their own crises and found ways to overcome and thrive.