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Reflections on 2020
What a year it was! While 2020 is now in our rearview mirror (thank goodness), the images of wreckage and tragedy from the pandemic are still strewn across our great country. In my lifetime, I have not seen or experienced anything that has had such a deep and wide adverse global impact. Despite the many trials we’ve faced, there is no denying that humanity rose to meet the challenges presented by the sudden onset of COVID-19.
Firstly, we owe a debt of gratitude to the many selfless health care workers who have been on the front lines caring for those afflicted with COVID-19. We must also honor those who have suffered through themselves or a loved one falling ill from this terrible disease. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the parents who have balanced their work responsibilities alongside the vagaries of online learning; those who have lost a job or suffered through the closure of a small business; and the countless others who have been personally, professionally, emotionally, and physically impacted by the pandemic.
So, as we continue fighting to find some level of normalcy, I do think it is healthy to assess our company’s current state, as well as how the experience of the pandemic may shape our future. In that spirit of transparency, I thought I would share my perspectives.
A Business Perspective
Truthfully, I have been surprised to find how quickly BSM has been able to rebound from the crisis. Although we are not out of the woods yet, our team has done a wonderful job in coming together and focusing on the “main things.” We eliminated non-essential line items and did a better job of staying connected with our clients. Although we saw a decline in revenue, our ability to manage the business more efficiently and improve margins has left us optimistic about 2021 and the years to follow.
On an interpersonal level, we have enhanced communications within our team through regular virtual meetings and team activities, all of which have brought us closer in spite of the fact that we are not physically together. Although different, our virtual team activities have been enjoyable.
To add to these successes, I am happy to announce that three team members have become shareholders in the company. Congratulations to senior consultants Laurie Brown and Deborah Stinchcomb, and administrative leader of our ambulatory surgery center (ASC) division, Courtney Leonis. Your dedication, hard work, and loyalty are inspiring — the same of which goes to all BSM employees, especially during these challenging times.
A Personal Perspective
Indeed, I have marveled at how each member of our team has grown through the pandemic. I continually observe greater self-reliance and self-confidence, enhanced personal accountability, greater fiscal discipline, and a renewed sense of commitment to the company.
Personally, my life can get a little crazy at times, and as such, I am prone to lose focus on priorities. Knowing this, I have invested quite a bit of time into improving my emotional and physical well-being; I can honestly say I have done a much better job in these areas throughout the pandemic. This has kept me grounded, positive, more patient, and full of energy, all of which have helped me feel like a better person and leader.
Continuing with Compassion
The truth is no one person has been immune or exempt from the impact of the pandemic. Knowing this, I want to highlight the heightened level of compassion and empathy I have observed in my small bubble. Seeing that, I know BSM will continue to operate with our clients’ needs in the forefront and meeting them through hard work, care, and diligence.
If nothing else comes from this experience, I am hopeful we will see a return to a time of greater civility and an ability to comfortably re-engage without judgment or rancor. With that, be safe and stay well in 2021!
- Bruce Maller