When Carmen and I wrote “Slammed,” we were focused on the cultural phenomenon of endless work cycles—and the toll they can take on people, teams, and organizational culture. We weren’t thinking about the massive impact of a storm like Harvey.
Harvey is a whole different kind of Slammed experience.
For the past week the senior leadership team of TDECU, a multi-billion-dollar credit union based in Lake Jackson, Texas, has been working around the clock to do whatever they could to help out their communities—many of whom were right in the center of the destruction. They have been well and truly Slammed. They are working to connect people with resources, ensuring business continuity, and taking unprecedented steps to look out for the wellbeing of their employees, members, and communities.
And they are not alone; thousands of people are working 24/7 as first responders and everyday heroes. In phone interviews with folks on the ground in Houston, people are quick to thank others who are doing more. The pediatric surgeon that took a canoe to get to the hospital to perform emergency surgery thanked the EMS team that shepherded him to the hospital. I heard from several clients struggling through the storm say “We are on this, whatever it takes. It’s a Texas thing…”
The interesting thing is that although the scale of destruction is off the charts, and people are working through incredibly challenging circumstances, one major element is the same. When people are slammed, their values come to the surface. “There was no time to think, you just get busy and do the right thing.” “I am in church every Sunday and I know what I need to do when others are suffering around me.” “Yeah I am the nut who was going around and rescuing dogs and cats; I couldn’t not do that.”
We couldn’t have been ready for Harvey. But there is something in our hearts and minds that allows us to work through even the toughest situations. We look forward to the recovery in Texas and the thousands of stories of everyday people listening to their values and understanding what is truly most important.
Find a way to do what you can to help, just be still for a second, and you can hear your values telling you the right thing to do.