Valentine’s Day week has a theme: love. And business continuity.
I often speak about how and why business continuity is important to a community. It’s important to the identity of the community before and after a disaster, the economy of a community, and the ability to bounce back with a return to normalcy.
Aside from keeping businesses alive and thriving with the ability to grow, I also do something more personal to help the community: I am an avid blood donor. Yep, avid. I’m about to hit 3 gallons donated. I do it every chance I can and have really gotten into doing it regularly. I literally keep people alive! The last few donations were perfectly timed: just before my birthday, so my gift was a live-saving gift to others, same around Christmas. Now Valentine’s day – I get to help keep a person who is loved by another alive.
I don’t usually advertise my charitable endeavors (unless I’m raising money for a charity), but maybe I should, to perhaps inspire people.
I donate money to between 6-10 usually organizations every year. I’ve also donated toys to Toys For Tots every year since 1998, and sometimes I do an angel tree ornament as well for a local family. I donate clothes to a women’s shelter (there is always one). Don’t even get me started on volunteering my time, which I also do.
So I am walking the walk. I’m not just helping communities by advising businesses in them because I want the community to thrive, I’m actively giving of my literal self (and time, and money) to help people in those communities.
What a great way to share love! And more importantly is some self-love.
You can see the letters after my name. You can read my experience. You can see that I’m doing great things. But what does that really tell you? What does that also not tell you?
I’ve also been in places, seen things, and experienced things as part of my career that make my mind different.
I’ve seen with my own eyes what actual bomb damage looks like (I knew instantly the “terrorist bombing” at the Canada/NY border was neither a terrorist or bombing based on the small damage report and seeing the aftermath picture). I’ve done risk assessments where “most deadly course of action” is a thing because there was at least a 50% that we could get killed every time we left the base. I’ve taken part in erasing human life off the planet. I am incredibly experienced with terrible things. I see risks that anyone else might gloss over.
I’ve advised on actual natural disasters – plural – while they were going on. And because I teach graduate students going into government about emergency management, I am always seeing everyday examples so they can relate to them more instead of seeing them as some “other” that doesn’t really impact them. I want them to be able to see what I see, so I teach them how.
I’ve also directed and assisted investigations into crimes where information was lacking...or hidden…or destroyed…or intentionally false. I’ve interviewed people to get the pieces of the puzzle to come together. I’m good at seeing the forest and the trees because of my legally trained brain.
It’s not the CBCP after my name that makes me an expert in business continuity. It’s the things that I just listed out that makes me a stand-out business continuity expert. I’m only now starting to lean into that after having people I respect greatly in this field tell me they wish they had my experience or see things the way I can.
Imagine that: my Rorshach perception sees nightmare-ish things, AND it allows me to help communities to stay alive and thrive.
I love that for me.