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  • Writer's pictureDavid Reavis

Lessons learned make the challenges worthwhile

Someone once said, “The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for growth.” I don't know the name of the author, but the sentiment rings true.

And while my life experiences have proven this to be true, I have also learned that professional growth is often recognized only after the fact, when the dust of a challenge settles, when lessons have been digested and learned; and goals and obstacles have been met and overcome. 

Last week marked the fourth month of the “new normal” forged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Disappointingly, we are still in the middle of this; our daily norms continue to evolve amid efforts to regain some semblance of normalcy at work and at home. For some, these past four months have been stressful and unsettled, a collection of manic days and sleepless nights.  

As I reflect on my personal journey these past 120 days, I sheepishly admit I have not yet achieved self-clarity about what specific business lessons I have learned, let alone how to use them. Frankly, I have not had the luxury of retrospection; it is difficult to conduct a meaningful postmortem when the final chapter has yet to be written.  

Despite this, I am making a commitment: To get clarity around what I have learned so far; to really think about it and to log those thoughts in a journal. Like the financial crisis of 2008-09, when I grew significantly as a professional, important lessons are playing out, valuable feedback from customers is being solicited and new communications strategies and tactics are being employed during a period unlike anything I have experienced in my lifetime. It is time to start documenting.  

While debates continue to rage about the merits of wearing a mask in public and if or when business will return to a more “normal” rhythm, I sense a patch of blue sky on the horizon. I believe a viable vaccine will be developed, that the pandemic will eventually abate, and that we will collectively emerge from this wiser and smarter, with a newfound sense of resiliency, grit, and determination. The stakes are too high for any other result.  

Looking ahead, my plan is simple: stay vigilant, remain positive and start to look for those pearls of wisdom, to take note of those lessons gleaned from the past four months that will make me a better and more effective communications professional, colleague, and corporate citizen. They are there to be learned; we just need to look for them as the skies begin to clear. 


With big challenges come big opportunities for professional growth. The journey since March has not been easy, but with open eyes, learning and acknowledging valuable lessons will make the trip worthwhile indeed.  

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