Building Strength

Members | November 16, 2021 | by Carol Silver Elliot

LeadingAge Board Chair, Carol Silver Elliott, offers this message to members on building strength. 

Over the course of the last two years, I’ve had a lot of interactions with our LeadingAge members, most of it via Zoom, email or phone. In recent weeks it has been a true joy to have those interactions in person again, having had the opportunity to be in Atlanta for our annual meeting and then to join LeadingAge Texas for their Leadership Summit in Austin.

There is, of course, a tremendous difference between coming together virtually and being together in person. Reuniting in real life is powerful on so many levels—both professionally and personally—and it feels, in some ways, like the “reward” for our survival. It’s as if we’ve earned the right through determination, commitment and just sheer endurance.

Being back together has been uplifting, emotional and gratifying. But what I have found moves me even more is the shift I am seeing and hearing in my colleagues. A year ago the only word most of us had to describe our current state was “exhausted.” Don’t get me wrong. Many, maybe most, of us are still weary, still worn from the struggle. But what I am hearing from folks now are words like “optimistic” and “excited.” People tell me that they are “ready” and that they are looking forward to the future.

This kind of energy, this kind of renewed strength is what we all need to find. It’s what we all need to share with one another to help not just hold each other up but help each other move ahead. This is the energy we need for us to renew our commitment to the work that we do, the strength to recognize and plan to seize our opportunities. Now is the time to channel that energy and strength, to stand tall and proud for all we have accomplished and all that we will accomplish.

While each of us has inner strength, which we have demonstrated over and over again these last twenty months, our strength is also buoyed by those around us—our staff, our residents, our community, our family and our colleagues. Let us all build on that collective strength to help us build a successful future for our organizations and, most importantly, for the elders that we serve.