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By Ann and Tom Rider
Legacy Friends of the Northland, Co-owner of Lutsen Mountains Ski & Summer Resort
There is no sugar-coating it: these are difficult times. But as with all crises, there are blessings that will bubble up from today’s COVID cauldron, among them are leadership and community.
One enduring lesson of this time will be the importance of good leadership and the qualities that make a good leader. Leadership needs to be steady, clear, reassuring, courageous, organized, competent, flexible, empathetic, humble, and kind. This crisis has exposed examples of feckless leadership but also shone a spotlight on inspiring leaders both in government and the private sector.
This period has tested our own leadership of our business in Lutsen, but we are inspired by the dedication of many others in our community, nation, and world as they have met this challenge. Our business's greatest asset is its employees, so supporting them has been paramount.
This crisis has also shone a spotlight on the importance of community: family, friends, neighbors. Social distancing has separated our communities, which has been painful. But it has also reminded us of how important they are in our lives. We believe that understanding will endure beyond COVID. Hugs, holiday dinners, local art fairs, and neighborhood barbecues will be so much more valued for years to come.
We have much to be grateful for, and we try to remind ourselves of that daily. Our brains have a negativity bias and will draw our focus only to the difficulties in our lives. Yet most of us have far more positives than we do problems. We just need to redirect our focus.
But, we do have friends and neighbors whose difficulties overshadow their blessings. For those, the Northland Foundation has shown leadership in supporting thoughtful, long-term solutions as well as immediate lifelines to allow folks to get to tomorrow. It has been an honor to be associated with the Foundation and we are grateful to be able to support its work.