Columbus Crew leaders opened up about the Club's handling of the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent article published by Columbus Business First.
President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons, and Head Coach Caleb Porter each spoke on how they are facing the challenge and the types of realizations that have resonated from the situation overall.
"We're in jobs where there is a lot of adversity," Porter told Business First. "There are ups and downs all the time. How I handle adversity is I show care for the people that I lead. That's the players. It's about being honest. ... When you act stoic and don't let that sensitivity show, the players don't feel you care. They don't feel that you are like them."
Bezbatchenko's sentiments aligned with Porter's in that there are elements of sympathy and humanity that supersede everything, whether if you work with the First Team or the Front Office.
"When this virus hit, I think it changed all of our worlds," Bezbatchenko said. "It's not just the virus. It's the uncertainty, fear and literal solitude, and loneliness and lack of structure. ... We as leaders need to remember that we're human first."
And in the end, "there is no playbook," Bezbatchenko continued. "We are forced to use new tools and new skills that we've probably never had to use before."
Lyons spoke to how the conditions have ultimately strengthened relationships as people and businesses have had no choice but to deal with the effects together.
"(It) creates a new elevated level of trust that we knew we always had, but you recognize and admire I think even more during these times," Lyons said, and that leading with "courage and compassion" is of the utmost importance.
Once the community gets through this obstacle, Lyons noted how sports will have an important role in that regeneration.
"Sports, and the Crew, in particular, will have a special role to play and how the community heals, and how the community moves forward."
Read the full article from Columbus Business First titled, 'It changed all our worlds': How the Crew's leaders are managing through the Covid-19 crisis'