Many people talk about the “return to normal,” but what will the new normal look like? I know for certain, 2021 will not look like 2020, just as 2022 will not look like 2021! It is up to each of us to create the possibilities of what it will be both personally and professionally.
The other issues you may be dealing with are your own mental and emotional challenges. Jordyn Dahl, Editor at LinkedIn News says in general that the health of entrepreneurs is in decline. She says business owners are reporting elevated levels of stress, anxiety, and depression since the beginning of this pandemic, and those feelings are especially noticeable among small business owners who are feeling isolated, uncertain, and overwhelmed.
To change this, we need to change our thinking. This pandemic gives us an opportunity to think out of the box, discover opportunities, and take risks that perhaps we would not have even considered under normal conditions.
Not only should you do your traditional strategic planning and scenario preparation, but there is an additional opportunity to leverage some of the trends coming out of this disruption. Now is the time to be optimistic and look for the pony in the manure pile! We have a vaccine being administered in an organized fashion, so this is a great time to review how you (and your organization) can take advantage of these trends and future possibilities.
Some organizations are now establishing “Plan Ahead Teams,” which enables them to move beyond just crisis management. I suggest you get the management team together in person or virtually and list the possible ways you can turn this into an opportunity for positive change.
The first step is visualization. I have talked about this in many past articles where you have the team visualize a brighter future. Then start thinking about what we would need to do to make that vision a reality.
One of my favorite lines is:
“What you think about the most has already happened – it is just making its way back to you.”
So now more than ever you must start thinking of positive possibilities for your future.
I know it is a challenge to even think positively when there is so much disruption in business, relationships, and our way of life. So, start by surrounding yourself with optimistic people and believe that the challenges we are facing are here to inspire us, make us stronger, and to build a better world. It will be the confident, positive, forward-thinking people who will lead us out of this.
Challenge yourself to aim even higher than you did in the past. Open your mind to opportunities that did not even exist before. Finally, stay connected with your staff, looking for signs that they may be struggling. Reach out and offer encouragement, as well as tangible help. Keep in mind, this pandemic will come to an end and we will be a stronger and a more compassionate nation because of it.
My question for managers:
What methods are you using to stay connected to your staff, provide positive encouragement, and to offer help if they are showing signs of discouragement?
My wish for everyone is that you have a wonderful New Year and continued success in business and happiness in life.
Joseph Sherren, CSP, HoF,
Global Speaking Fellow
International Business Transformation Specialist.