For many of us, 2016 was a challenging year. As a country, we went through one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in our nation’s history, and even now, long after the vote tallies have been finalized, rancor remains. I’ve even heard of families cancelling Thanksgiving celebrations together because support for different candidates split loved ones apart. Race relations proved to be just as frayed, as killings by police officers and killings of police officers broke our hearts and shook our confidence in our ability to work together to make all killings the rarest of occurrences anywhere in America.
Things at California Chef have also been challenging this year—though not headline-grabbing. We had a couple of key persons leave due to medical issues and family crises, and there were big shoes left to fill after their departures. But these challenges—those faced by our country and those faced by California Chef—highlighted a reality that is as old as it is important to remember: We can’t control everything that happens in life, but we can control our response to everything that happens.
So what we did at California Chef is help our departing colleagues make as smooth a transition as possible into their new roles beyond our company. We then tapped the talents of other very capable people on our staff and coached them through the process of assuming new responsibilities. We reassigned other duties and found that even our best people had hidden talents that they hadn’t had to demonstrate before. It was not a seamless process, and there were stumbles along the way, but as a team, we managed to keep our clients happy, give staff members a chance to grow their skill sets, and even improve some of our procedures along the way.
What we do as a country in the wake of 2016 is up to each and every one of us. Though America is still the land of promise, it doesn’t operate on auto-pilot. No matter who occupies the White House, the actual work of making the country better is—and always has been—primarily done by people who don’t live in the White House. Each of us can—and should—do our part to make this the best possible country it can be. So make 2017 the year that you volunteer, donate, find a cause that energizes you and make it your own! This year is at its end, and the good and bad it brought is now in the past. We can savor the good and mourn the bad, but let’s put our greatest focus on the future. Let’s do everything in our power to make 2017 the best year we’ve ever had!