This global Covid-19 pandemic, now coupled with a necessary turning point in this nation's multi-century legacy of inequality, has the daily waters we navigate quite tempestuous. Some of the videos and images we see on the tv and social media feed can be inspirational while others have stirred pain, anger and fear. We look to leaders in this movement to direct us with smooth tenor and grace. Some are rising while others are falling.

In the two decades of working with over 40 different vendors in the Outdoor Industry I've come to witness that a product and culture of a brand often comes from the "top down". Simple and reasonable enough. After all, that is what management and leadership personnel are ultimately tasked to do. The person who leads the company, in general, sets the tone for how those that service and support will behave. During these unprecedented times, their power to set a tone of Grace within their entire ranks is awesome.

However, I've also seen how a customer service or sales person will strive to influence from the middle (or bottom) up. It can work. In these rough seas we face today, we see community leaders now influence a group of protestors to remain solemn and resolved in peaceful protest. We also see a single officer of the law or a citizen with calm demeanor influence the entire crowd.

Grace is a river that can flow in two directions. What an opportunity we have as single ripples in the large river of life to be graceful right now. To treat all of the people in our lives with Grace. The customer who has a question we've answered a thousand times calling at an inopportune time. The anxious dealer on the frontlines of service who just wants to give their customers some smooth sailing in these turbulent times. The delivery driver who keeps our nation fed and supplied. The grocery clerk who joined the front lines without even asking to be enlisted.

I am not marching down main street right now. I probably should. I really should. For now, I'm trying to influence where I can and praying to not to run out of steam. I talk daily with people from all over the country. Some are customers aspiring to find a little peace and enjoyment on the water. Some are Dealers trying to keep their businesses, customers and staff afloat.

I promise right here to treat them all with Grace and Equality. I promise to show my children Grace through this all. I promise to lead with Grace and be led with Graceful service to all. I promise to paddle with Grace through this...


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