318.294.2717 WEWANTMORE@YGMTRC.COM

Have you found yourself wanting “things” to be the way it was pre-pandemic or perhaps you are tired of the mixed emotions you are still experiencing? Well, you are not alone!  

Recently, I was listening to a message about being intentional post-Covid and that we must allow ourselves to grieve and realize the pandemic has been, and still is, traumatic for many of our businesses, our community, our health care system, our schools, our friends, our families, and ourselves. The speaker shared it is healthy for us to take this opportunity and hit reset. So, I looked up the definition of ‘reset’ and Merriam Webster defines it as “to set again or anew.” Dictionary.com states it is “to adjust or fix in a new or different way.”

So, what does one do when it is time hit the reset button? Author and pastor Rick Warren shares a few best practices:

  1. Expect to feel mixed emotions.
  2. Extract the lessons learned.
  3. Evaluate everything before resuming the activity.
  4. Engage slowly, do not be in a hurry.
  5. Eliminate the non-essential.
  6. Excel at what really matters most.
  7. Embrace the new things post covid. 
  8. Expect incremental change. 

To be candid, this sounds a lot easier than it is! Here at the Longview Chamber, we strive for excellence, and pre-Covid, our machine was well oiled. Today, it takes three to four times as long do accomplish something. Why? Everything is having to be re-worked and re-worked. Are you feeling the same way?

How is our Chamber hitting reset?

First, we are learning from our members. Our chairperson, Dana Parr, and I asked the Annual Meeting award recipients – Keith McIntosh, Texas Oncology – Longview Cancer Center and Bill Shelton, Flint Hills Resources – to be our panelists for a discussion on how to move forward. One of the questions we asked them is, “what lessons were learned over the past year and how will this information help you lead your company more productively?”     

Another piece of producing the meeting was to evaluate what we had done in the past and determine how best to produce a first-class Annual Meeting for 2021. This process began when we had to postpone the event and find a new location since the original one was not available. Time for a reboot? The team decided to try something new! This year we had a progressive annual meeting. We began at the first location at 5 p.m. with a reception and then moved into the auditorium at the same location for our annual meeting and business awards ceremony. The evening concluded at a second location with an after-party reception.

Second, we had to cancel the 2021 East Texas Boat & RV Expo. This event is an important part of our revenue stream. As a result, we are hosting a spring golf tournament. We invited our members to join us by playing, sponsoring a hole, and/or volunteering.  

Third, we had to reboot and reconfigure our InterCity Trip for June. After having to postpone three times, we have built a great agenda and confirmed most of our speakers. As a key influencer in our area, we are strongly encouraging our members to consider participating. These trips open our eyes to see the possibilities of what Longview could be and have helped cast the vision for what has been achieved.

Lastly, what did this past year teach you? Probably something along the lines of appreciate and value those you care about, focus on the things that matter most, and choose priorities wisely. Let us not go back to the ways before Covid. Join us in resetting your chamber. We can all prioritize what is most important and look at new opportunities that will build our communities and strengthen our economies. 

I invite you and your chamber to consider how you, too, could re-engage your members! It benefits everyone when we embrace our members’ strengths and leverage their influence to build even a stronger and better community! Remember, there is no light switch that can be turned on to go back to the way it was. Each of our communities belongs to us. Together, as chamber professionals, we can make positive incremental changes to continue making good things happen! 

Will you make a conscious choice to make your community a great place to live work and play? I hope you will make the choice to accept this post-COVID challenge to reboot, recharge, and reset! Are you ready and willing to become a pioneer again and do what it takes to create a better community for your members by seeing the POSSIBILITES?

Kelly

LeadingPeople. LeadingProsperity.


Kelly Hall, CCE, IOM, MSL 
CEO & President 
Longview (TX) Chamber