The past few months have been hard, for everyone.
Hey, it’s Andrew, and this is Safety on Tap.
Since you’re listening in, you must be a leader wanting to grow yourself and drastically improve health and safety along the way.  Welcome to you, you’re in the right place.  If this is your first time listening in, thanks for joining us and well done for trying something different to improve! And of course, welcome back to all of you wonderful regular listeners.
Like it or not, we leaders who are working on improving health and safety, are inevitably closer to current challenges in business than many other professionals.
I don’t work on the frontlines of health and safety.  My work and my impact happen a little further back, away from the spotlight, supporting people like you to be more effective, to grow, to overcome your challenges.  I help leaders like you, and the amazing people in your organisations to learn better, to be more adaptive and resilient – capacities which have never in our lifetime been more important.  I also work at the system level, trying to enable a system-wide improvement in health and safety in the agriculture and fishing sector in Australia.
I know it’s hard.  I have heard your stories.  I have waded with you through your confusion.  I have shed a tear with you.  I have been at your side when you’ve lost your job or considered your options at the crossroad of life.  I have celebrated your success.  I have watched from the sidelines as our work together has spurred creativity, bravery, new ideas, and immense change.
Life is hard.  Our work is hard.
And that is what makes it worth doing.
I have put fewer podcasts out than I’ve planned.  I have struggled to prioritize what I am doing amidst the tension between a disrupted business, the opportunity to adapt and innovate, the continuing delivery of service virtually, kids at home 24/7, and ongoing building work at my home.
Whatever your situation or mine, it’s hard.
We do what we do because the world needs our contribution, the world needs your contribution.  And we do this imperfectly, we do this with hesitation and doubt, we do this with fear, we do this bearing more burden than we probably should, supporting everyone else when we too need support.
There is a Zulu greeting, which has been on my mind almost constantly recently.
Sawubona roughly translates to ‘I see you, you are important to me, and I value you’. 
Over the past 8 weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning on the 19th of March, I’ve hosted a weekly live video session to serve your needs for connection, for learning, and for growth.  Hundreds of attendees have come together, with each week quite unique to the next.  We have adapted the balance of presentation and dialogue, of a focused topic and an open discussion, of new ideas and reinforcing old ones.  These were named Office Hours Together.  We also launched an online collaboration platform to create another place and space for you to connect, to collaborate, and to be together.  We called this the together platform.
In each of these Office Hours Together sessions, I greeted everyone there by saying, sawubona.
‘I see you, you are important to me, and I value you’
I know you have been working so hard, under pressure, under uncertainty, and sometimes suffering the loss in the process.  I know you are also succeeding, and creating impact for the people you seek to serve, despite so many forces to the contrary.
I try to serve, and love to work with people like you, because you are important, valuable contributors.
Sawubona.  I see you, you are important to me (and to many others), and I value you.
I hope you are your loved ones are safe, sane, and looking after yourselves.
On a side note, I wonder whether this episode will still be as relevant, as applicable, and as true a month from now, a year from now, or more.  The external forces change, but the challenge often remains the same.

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