How many times in your career have you been told that something is impossible to do?
While accepting that “fact” might be relatively easy when there’s not much on the line, what happens when the stakes are monumental?
That’s exactly the situation Lori Nikkel faced when COVID created a massive wave of families turning to food banks. As the CEO of a food rescue organization called Second Harvest, Lori knew she was at a very pivotal moment.
She had two choices: put the brakes on her three-year national expansion plans and wait for the pandemic to end; or hit the gas and complete the expansion in a matter of weeks.
Seeing an opportunity amid the crisis
To make that tough choice, all Lori had to do was take a hard look at two of the biggest casualties of the lockdowns: the collapse of the restaurant industry, and the collapse of the job market.
In other words, a massive amount of food was about to be wasted at a time when the need for food had never been greater. To Lori, that spelled an opportunity.
While even the original three-year plan was ambitious, she couldn’t stand the thought of families going hungry while millions of tons of food were being dumped into landfills.
The team steps up
For a non-profit already stretching its resources, condensing a three-year rollout into a matter of weeks seemed pretty much impossible. But with so much on the line, the team didn’t have the luxury of focusing on obstacles. They only had time to act.
Fortunately for Lori, she wasn’t tackling it alone. She was blessed with a team that shared her same passion and can-do attitude, and they were willing to work at breakneck speed to tackle every hurdle that emerged before them.
“They blow my mind. They're just so amazing, and they pivot on a dime,” says Lori. “Because we care so deeply about what we do, we were able to do the impossible. That's something that we are all just super proud of ourselves for. And we did it without even thinking about it. It’s just what needed to happen.”
The power of collaboration
“I think, for me, the word impossible shouldn’t exist. Nothing's impossible. If you have a group of really strong collaborators and you continue to collaborate, collaborate, collaborate, there's nothing, nothing you can't accomplish. This really was a testament to that.”
To hear the full 20-minute episode, “Doing the Impossible”, listen wherever you get your podcasts or online HERE.
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