A Village of One

Remember the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”? Its origins are traced back to African cultures and possibly even the Bible according to some researchers. My interpretation is that we all have an impact on the children we come in contact with, in our communities, across our state, country, and around the world.

Current events have dictated that the “village” is now more remote, and that online distance learning is part of the equation for school age children. I see some of my colleagues working extra hard to create that village in the confines of their homes and yards. I empathize and try to reach back into my memory to recall what online learning made an impact on me. I really show my age when I can only come up with Schoolhouse Rock. Maybe some of you remember the animated music videos that taught us topics like grammar, math, civics, and science? I can still sing tunes like “Conjunction Junction!”. It reminds me that different methods work for different kids.

Here at Armstrong McGuire I mainly provide operations support for the firm and its advisors, and I do it remotely. In essence I am a village of one. I don’t have nearly the volume or frequency of calls, video conferences, and client meetings as the rest of our staff, but I have another way of staying connected with our team and the firm. I see all our activity from community outreach and advice, to consulting opportunities and proposals, to projects in all phases, including feedback on our work. I see this activity in our CRM (customer relationship management) application that I support. This works for me and really helps me stay connected to the team.

Another way I’m feeling connected is the open book style our leaders take in information sharing. There is not a subject nor area of the firm that is off-limits for conversation, and data is shared about the entire operation. My team members are also some of the best at sharing information that I’ve seen in a thirty-five-year career.  

In a time when “remote” and “distance” describe much more of the work we do, staying connected with our staff, board, clients, and donors does not have to be measured in video calls alone. Asking what works best for them, and being open to sharing information in many ways, might just do the trick.

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