As we’re navigating through this challenging time, I wanted to share some insights and hypotheses around what businesses can consider as they’re adapting and innovating in this environment.
Here are a few things on my mind:
Leaders work for their employees, not the other way around
Many large organizations are having to adjust to the work from home life that haven’t had experience doing it before. That means employees are having to work in environments that feel a little different or uncomfortable – they might be used to collaborating side by side and now are being forced to adjust. People may have their kids at home which can also create challenges.
Depending on how they’re wired, they may like it more or less, but as a leader in an organization it’s important to understand that you work for your employees at this time.
Consider getting on a call with every single one of your employees one by one if you can manage it – if you have hundreds or thousands, consider getting on a company-wide call and help them address some of their issues. It could be as simple as calling up Sally and saying something like “Hey, I know you love sitting next to Cindy and you guys collaborate that way. Try to do it on Zoom, and if you can’t or if you struggle, don’t overly beat yourself up. If your productivity is an 8 out of 10 at this time because you’re a person who loves to collaborate in-person, don’t over judge yourself.”
It’s about helping them create frameworks and holding them accountable but at the same time working with them and having empathy for the adjustment process.
This isn’t the new normal, it’s the new “temporary normal”
I think this is where a lot of people – especially business leaders – are getting confused. People are calling this time “the new normal” but in reality, it’s going to be a very, very small percentage of most people’s lives. I don’t know if it’s several weeks, several months, or if it goes away and comes back later in the year, but it will end at some point.
Calibrate your actions towards your ambitions and what you want to accomplish. But don’t overly judge yourself if you struggle to be productive during this time. Having 3 months, 6 months, or even a year where you’re not feeling at the top of your game can happen in life to everyone – happens to me too.
But it’s a temporary period of time – and if you and your family are healthy, you’ve got a ton to be grateful for.
First-time entrepreneurs: Don’t demonize getting a job if you have to
There are a lot of first-time entrepreneurs in this time who might have to go get a job somewhere.
Having to “go back” and get a job isn’t necessarily as bad as some entrepreneurs think if you can be strategic about who you work for. You could start the process of rounding out your skillsets or work for someone who could act as a mentor.
Tell stories: Now’s the time to get people to know you
I think storytime is a big concept, too. I think right now is a great time for businesses to start the process of telling stories around things like how they got started, their biggest mistake or their craziest experience.
It’s a practical concept for many right now, since we’re not working in offices and don’t have the option to create content at work. It’s a good opportunity to take a step back and start digging into that “origin story.”
Ultimately – people buy from people. And people connect with others on different concepts or subtle personality traits. For example, people follow me for all kinds of things – some people found me through my business content, others like my motivational content, others like wine, others like garage sailing or flipping stuff, others might have connected with me over something small like the fact that my favorite number is five.
That’s why I talk so much about showing different “looks” of yourself.
People might connect with you because of the way you talk, how you look, the fact that you love Call of Duty, or that you sold CDs in fourth grade.
Right now is an interesting time to tell stories and show people who you are.