asbointl.org SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | MAY 2020 7 ASBO International continues to stand ready to help SBOs navigate these uncharted waters. Leading and Managing Change By David J. Lewis executive director’s message “ T he best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”This adap- tion from a passage by Robert Burns applies to many of our endeavors during the most routine of times. Well, these are not routine times, and the world in which our plans seemed so secure a few weeks ago is now completely upended. Just over a month ago, I was looking for- ward to attending the Pennsylvania ASBO annual conference, heading out to Palm Springs for California ASBO’s annual confer- ence, then making a quick stop back in Vir- ginia before heading off to the Illinois ASBO conference. As I was preparing for this trip, the enor- mity of the COVID-19 virus attack was just beginning to emerge; within a week, as con- ference after conference was postponed or cancelled, we began to realize the effect this pandemic will have on all of us for months— possibly years—to come. So much for best- laid plans. A New Awareness However, since we have had a little time to process our new situation, we’ve seen the emer- gence of a new awareness. Amidst the loss of so many lives—people who were important to our immediate families and those who made an impact on the entire world—we’ve developed an even greater appreciation for all of those who make our world a little bit better every day. I see the valiant efforts of our EMTs, first responders, doctors and nurses, grocery and food service providers, and educators, all will- ing to risk their personal health and safety in order to provide food, comfort, education, and care to those most in need. I feel a greater appreciation for the people in my family and in my professional life who, I now realize in an even more immediate way, could be taken away with terrifying speed. During these challenging times it’s impor- tant that we acknowledge those people who have helped prepare us to face the challenges ahead. The efforts of our ASBO International team to establish and grow ASBO’s online and elearning platform during the past year are even more valuable and appreciated as we ramp up activities to meet the new challenges in addressing our members’ professional learn- ing needs. Our outreach to other associations and gov- ernment entities to open channels of informa- tion is now more vital than ever as we urgently seek to provide the best guidance and support for our members as they lead their districts through these unprecedented times. Ready to Serve As we work from home, our efforts to rise to the challenge, remain positive, and refocus our thinking on how to serve our members and others is a great foundation upon which we can build. We share Zoom lunches, reveling in the sight of each other’s faces, catching up on family news, and harnessing our collective cre- ativity in establishing a path forward. We rec- ognize that how we respond to this crisis will reflect our commitment to those we serve. The world’s education system is undergoing a transformative experience in moving to dis- tance learning in a matter of weeks rather than months or years, and it is our mission to con- tinue to be the globally recognized, respected, and consulted authority for the school busi- ness profession as we seek to help our mem- bers through this difficult time. Our new realities may change the way in which we go about our business, but the values we demonstrate as we do so do not change—those are the best-laid plans of all.