Before you go sending me a bunch of messages about the shutdown, reasons, policies, and politics, stop – this post is not about any of that…it’s about the people afflicted by the shutdown. Those people are real and suffered financially – you might want to ask yourself, “How can I help them best?”
True community leadership happens when those who have a talent share it with those who need it the most. For many of us in financial services, this means how to handle money, lack thereof, repayments, budgeting, and a whole lot of stuff in-between. Those individuals affected by the recent government shutdown had real financial loss during this time.
Imagine right now if your main source of income was suddenly gone? That is how they feel – scared, wanting to do the right thing, will I still have a job, how am I going to pay my bills, etc. A whole host of emotions were felt by government workers during this time.
What questions can you answer?
Take time and write an article or do a video with text captioning and share it on your social media accounts. Hold a free informational session with others from your community who handle mortgages, car loans, etc. and be available for these community residents to ask questions. Provide a space so they can be private in asking, too. Not everyone is extroverted and will be willing to share their story.
Money is an emotional topic for many. Be sure to have people available who are patient and kind and empathetic to the issue at hand. Financial duress from this event will take months to overcome. Be understanding of people’s angst from the situation, too.
Who is a good referral resource for those in need?
Know who in your community can be of best help. Do you have budget specialists in the area? What about credit repair specialists? Car loan and mortgage refinance consultants? Car insurance comparison firms? Anything to help these families bounce back as quickly (and as stably) as possible.
BE A PERSON OF ACTION: When you step up and step into uncomfortable topics and events such as this, people in your community will remember you were there. And by “people in your community” that means EVERYONE in your community. Think about those streets you don’t drive down. Think about those neighborhoods you avoid going through. What are the chances they need your help the most? This is where real thought leadership comes out.