Dear Management Society Members,
I hope you know that I don’t take that salutation lightly; you are dear – each one of you. You are also members of the BYU Management Society, whether you are currently able to affiliate with a local chapter or not. You are part of a large group of individuals from villages, towns, and cities across the globe who stand shoulder-to-shoulder, committed to living and sharing the principles of moral and ethical leadership within their spheres of influence.
Last March (2020), as we faced a global pandemic together, I wrote to you directly. I wanted to make sure that you knew that we were still here and remaining faithful to our shared mission, even if we weren’t able to be together in person. I shared my personal adventures with making and eating 40-year-old gelatin and living to tell the tale. I mentioned that my only pandemic hair stylist was my husband, who learned how to cut my bangs by watching YouTube videos. That has continued to be true for fifteen months. The rest of my hair is now streaming down my back, giving me a very 70’s look (That’s 1970’s, not my age—quite.)
I continued to send direct emails until May (2020), as we found our feet with our new “normals,” offering virtual opportunities for listening and learning together. Our chapters stepped up in huge ways, working virtually to meet needs both locally and regionally. I’ve been impressed, yet again, by the fantastic leaders we have across the globe. You’ve collaborated regionally, offered skills training and networking using virtual tools, and generally lifted each other. One of the great joys I have found is “attending” meetings in different areas. I have learned from the speakers and from the great questions of the attendees. I didn’t need to be a member of the Boston chapter to register and attend a meeting with Jared Conley, MD/PhD of Massachusetts General Hospital; I’m a member of the global BYU Management Society! (So are you.) I was welcomed from across the country to a virtual learning feast. What a joy! (Any chance I can get some graduate level credit for attending, Boston Chapter?) I have experienced other incredible learning opportunities with chapters in Dallas, Salt Lake, Utah Valley, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, and Utah Valley. If I spoke—what a friend assures me is the Adamic language – Portuguese, I’d have signed up for the Curitiba chapter’s virtual event.
I’ve also “attended” all of our global webinars and have come away inspired with insights into how I can be better and do better. Couldn’t make it to a global webinar? No problem! Many of them are archived here: https://byums.byu.edu/webinars/. I’m looking forward to hearing our upcoming global webinar speaker on May 21st, Dr. Marilyn Gist. Her presentation on humility in leadership is right in the wheelhouse of BYUMS members. You can register at: https://byums.byu.edu/events/details/byu-global-presents-the-extraordinary-power-of-leader-humility-with-marilyn-gist-phd-1/
I should have given you a “long post alert” at the beginning of this email, but I’ll pause to do that now. I’m hoping you’ll humor me and keep reading. We aren’t out of the pandemic yet and I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about that.
Fourteen months into this, I have been reflecting on the various meanings of the word “abide.” I have a better understanding today than I did last March that abiding means so much more than just living somewhere. The shepherds “abiding in the fields” (Luke 2) were doing more than existing; they were keeping watch over their sheep and they were also anxiously and patiently waiting for the promised Messiah. The scriptures tell us to “abide” in our covenants and that if we do so, the Lord will abide in us and we will abide in Him. The “abiding” this past year has been awful, joyful, difficult, exhausting, amazing, grief-filled, and miraculous. And we are not done. Our friends in India and Brazil are suffering from the brunt of the pandemic, as I write this letter. In the US, we’re seeing younger adults being hit with this disease. We can’t stop caring about and caring for those around us, including continuing to take precautions and praying for each other and for ourselves. I hope that we will continue to abide in faith, in love, in our covenants, and in being examples of moral and ethical leadership in the world. I look to each of you to help us continue in this great cause.
With deep appreciation,
President, Global Board of Directors
BYU Management Society