By Ben Ari, for Thrive Global
During this challenging time throughout the globe, I encourage people to always bring your best self to the forefront. Show kindness, respect, and set aside anxiety. Anxiety is most counterproductive things to have in your life. Prepare yourself for potential outcomes, and exude a sense of calm and restraint. As a part of my series. During this challenging time throughout the globe, I encourage people to always bring your best self to the forefront. Show kindness, respect, and set aside anxiety. Anxiety is most counterproductive things to have in your life. Prepare yourself for potential outcomes, and exude a sense of calm and restraint. As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Crawford. Kevin Crawford provides C-suite executives with high-level, strategic counsel with the utmost confidentiality. KCC partners with executives to identify potential pitfalls, unintended consequences, and other unforeseen outcomes in their professional and personal lives. For more information, visit www.kevincrawfordconsulting.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path? I’m a current executive advisor with more than 40 years of executive leadership as a fire chief, City Manager for City of Carlsbad and CEO of United Way of San Diego, and I could not read all of my childhood and well into college. I wasn’t just a slow reader, I could not read at all. I was extremely insecure and acted out, struggled all through school, and only got into college on athletic merits. About halfway through college, I realized that my worth was not based on this one issue, and once I realized that, I determined to teach myself to read. I worked incredibly hard to overcome my challenges, even completed my law school JD, and went on to a fulfilling career in the fire service and beyond.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much? Leadership from the Inside Out, by Kevin Cashmen. The book focuses on the central theme of leadership as being an inside out proposition, put into words what I had been feeling for some time as the cornerstone of leadership. Furthermore, it fit with the leadership foundation I had observed in my father. Regrettably, most of life is caught up in the externals of life and not the internals, we are externally focused not internal. We’re caught up in the circles we run in, the possessions we have, the acknowledgement and praise of others. Leaders can help those who work for them break out of that, and this book helps with that.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each. The five reasons to be hopeful during these unprecedented times: 1) resilience, 2) courage, 3) selflessness, 4) creativity, and 5) commitment to the nation. I have one story for all of them — being on the front lines of 9/11 as a fire chief.… I saw all five of these reasons depicted that day. I was part of task force deployed from San Diego to ground zero. When our group arrived on site, we were dropped off several blocks away, and had to walk to where the twin towers once stood. At first when we were walking toward the site, there were too many buildings in the way and we couldn’t see it, but we could smell the smolders as walked closer. Then I saw it all at once. It was very overwhelming to take in from a sensory stand point. I stopped in my tracks, and stared in awe of what we were seeing. There were times I’ve been in grave danger throughout my career as a firefighter, but being scared in a fire is one thing because you can control some things; at this point I felt a vulnerability I couldn’t control. I realized that safety was a gift from previous generations who sacrificed and knew how precious it was to feel safe in one’s own homeland. The notion of sacrifice of self hit me at that point, more than ever before, and I know that hope is built in the DNA of our country. While COVID-19 is a different crisis, I still have hope. We as a nation have all the elements to get past this and be successful.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Understanding: what is going on (virus started in one country, and is spreading across the world)
Truth: what are the facts of what’s going on (no spin, just honesty and transparency)
Hope: there is going to be a better day, tomorrow will be better (by way you communicate, give hope for a better tomorrow because of 5 things in previous question)
Security: today I’m safe, even if there is a threat (security is about today)
Purpose: give people something to focus on (action, activity, prepare for or respond to; idle hands are the devil’s workshop, keep them occupied doing productive things for their good and the greater good of the public)
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious? Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life? “How we experience life is product of how we process it.” You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂 During this challenging time throughout the globe, I encourage people to always bring your best self to the forefront. Show kindness, respect, and set aside anxiety. Anxiety is most counterproductive things to have in your life. Prepare yourself for potential outcomes, and exude a sense of calm and restraint.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
— Published on July 1, 2020