When this is all done, I hope the leaders of our industry take a moment for self-congratulation. You have effectively balanced your responsibility to serve your communities with your responsibilities to your people. That’s what true leadership looks like. I am so proud of our business and its leaders.
Best thing I have listened to in the last two weeks? An interview with Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. My big take-away? Our people working remotely are missing connection. So as a leader, make sure you’re taking time during your ZOOM meetings to let people share how they’re doing before immediately launching into the business agenda.
Here’s Lencioni’s LinkedIn page. https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-lencioni-orghealth/ And, if you’re looking for a great read, try his book, The Ideal Team Player. It’s one of my all-time favorite business books on identifying the key attributes of the best team players.
The cancellation percentages I have been hearing are scary. I think some AE’s and managers are making a mistake by pushing the narrative that this is the time to grow market share. If I own a business that’s shut down and I’m worried about paying my people, please don’t tell me that. I have used the term “tone-deaf” more in the last few weeks than ever before. That is seriously tone-deaf.
There will absolutely be a time when the “grow share” argument needs to be made. I’m hearing about a bunch of leaders and managers who are reaching out to clients and beginning to talk about plans for when this is over. That’s smart if your client is ready to engage in that discussion, and some are. The businesses that are ready for that pivot will win, as their competitors get left behind.
Yesterday, I finally had to admit to myself that I was seriously stressed. Some of that was self-inflicted because we moved last Friday (for very good reasons). Like so many of you, I’ve been ramping up my meditation time, exercise, and service to others, which is really good. Self-care during a stressful time is super important. So, breathe and take a walk… again.
The challenge of working from home was interesting for me. But I have huge empathy for the folks with kids at home, who are trying to juggle work and facilitating online schools. I spoke to a couple of LSM’s in that situation and I have total respect.
Some people (and companies) are trying to use this time to ramp up training. That’s smart, as long as they realize that there are time demands for the working parents. Not to miss an opportunity to make a plug… if your team is on our virtual On Demand platform, it’s a perfect tool to use to make them better marketing people and better sellers by investing just 15 minutes a day on themselves.
Here’s a contrary view about the Olympics cancellation from a smart friend of mine. He said that he thinks moving to 2021 is a good thing. His logic? “If we have demand this year after COVID-19 is over, we won’t need it. If we don’t have demand, it would have run and been undersold. Plus, it will really help 2021.”
I do know this. With NBC having the Summer Games, Winter Games and Super Bowl, all in about 6 months, NBC stations will need to have an extra effective sales effort to sell all that tent pole inventory.
After making a mid-February visit to the WWII Museum in New Orleans, I started re-reading Stephen Ambrose’s book, D-Day. This week, I was struck by a passage that General (later President) Dwight Eisenhower wrote during the time of his first command post in Gibraltar in November 1942.
“It was there that I first realized how inexorably strain and tension wear away at a leader’s endurance, his judgement, and his confidence. No matter how things got, no matter how anxious the staff became, the commander had to preserve optimism in himself and in his command. Without confidence, enthusiasm, and optimism in the command, victory is scarcely obtainable.”
1942 words that seem very relevant today.
My laugh of the week? Our realtor told us that the day her brokerage firm had their first ZOOM meeting ever, one of her colleagues was having trouble figuring it out. She thought she wasn’t on camera when she called for her husband to help her. He arrived on camera without clothes, which may give new meaning to being transparent!!!
We’re having lots of conversations with senior leaders about subjects like this. If we can be a sounding board for you or your company during this time, please reach out. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com