Talking to people in recent weeks, I’ve realised that many of us are experiencing some sort of COVID-19 fatigue. Over the last three or so months, this pandemic has totally transformed every aspect of our lives, making it hard to have a conversation with anyone, in any setting, without the coronavirus coming up. Often, these discussions are quite negative, which is totally understandable. However, if this is the “new reality” that we’re all going to be living for the immediate future, perhaps it’s time to start reframing how we talk about it. How should we perceive what’s happening in the world around us?
I’m certainly not saying that we should be unrealistic about the realities of all this or that we should forget about the pandemic and pretend it isn’t happening. What I am saying is that we need to start seeing the opportunity in the disruption and finding ways to make the most of this very unusual and unprecedented scenario.
Finding the golden nugget
About five years ago, I was attending a leadership academy event and found myself sitting on a bus next to a total stranger. We started talking about ourselves and he shared that his wife had an inoperable brain tumour. He told me that their initial reaction was to plan how everything would play out after she died so that they were as prepared as possible for when that day eventually came along.
This seemed logical enough but then he went on to explain that some time after she was diagnosed, his wife attended a retreat that shifted her mindset around the whole situation. From that day, they chose to see her brain tumour not as a death sentence but as a “golden nugget” and an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and their values. Instead of allowing her diagnosis to hold them back, they decided to see it a chance to live more fulfilling lives.
Today, as we find ourselves in a world totally absorbed by the coronavirus, I would challenge leaders to adopt a similar approach.
We have all experienced the negative effects of COVID-19 but maybe it’s time that we try to focus on the positives. This pandemic has forced us to think differently about our health, our relationships with people and to rethink what is important to us. For me, it’s been a massive lesson in appreciating the things that I used to take for granted.
As a leader, it’s your job to shift the conversation in your business. Away from the things that hold you back and towards the opportunities and the things that inspire you to work in new, innovative ways. I actually think that all of this has made our vision clearer because there are fewer distractions.
We’ve also dramatically improved our rhythm. In the past, I may have only interacted with certain members of our team once or twice a month, but now we’re having weekly check-ins with the entire company. Even though we’re all working from different locations, I don’t want anyone to ever feel alone or like they can’t turn to a colleague for help. If anything, this pandemic has shown us what is really possible. It’s forced us to do things that some of us may have never imagined possible.
Did you find this thought leadership interesting? Our CEO shares his insights about business strategy and leadership every month on the Nebula blog. To have these and other insights delivered straight to your inbox simply complete the form below.