The coronavirus crisis is forcing great change on all of us. We are adjusting to rapidly changing conditions. We are learning to work differently. We are juggling professional and personal responsibilities with few boundaries and coping with daily challenges and threats to our businesses and livelihoods.

It feels like we are one heartbeat away from becoming overwhelmed by it all. It would be so easy to just go negative. But, if we appeal to our better natures, then in the spaces between challenges, we can find solace and potential opportunity in this crisis by asking two questions;

  1. When we pass through this crisis, how will you and your organization be remembered?
  2. What will your contribution be to the successful resolution of this crisis?

Each of us and each of our organizations will have different answers and while this is certainly not the all-inclusive answer, I have found the following a good place to start seeking answers in this first week of self-isolation.

Remain open.

Our stores may close, factories may be still and offices gone dark but, we must remain open. We must be open to new possibilities, new ways of working and new ways of connecting with each other. It will be business as unusual for the foreseeable future but a mind open to new possibilities will pull the future a little closer to the present and help us all step through these trying times.

Rely on each other. Listen to new voices and new ideas. We are in a place not known to any of us. No one has the experience right now but with open minds each of us can contribute to the solutions that are right for our organizations.

Be human.

Relationships with our peers and customers will be tested. Our nerves will be frayed. Tempers will be short. With good reason but, don’t let it become your excuse. Be patient. Be empathetic because we are all in this together. Over-communicate and over-nurture. Think about what you can do for your teams and customers to keep them engaged, motivated and focussed on a brighter future?

Lead with values and purpose.

We are in uncharted territory. Plans have been shattered. Hope has been scattered. Gather them up and lead on with your values system and sense of purpose. Both will be tested mightily in the weeks ahead but you have done the hard work of values and purpose for this very reason. This is the moment to rely on them like a beacon, guiding you through the difficult decisions and actions you will take in the days and weeks ahead.

Focus on the meaningfulness of your work.

Our work is important to us, our colleagues and customers. As we grapple with the remoteness of work let’s not get too far removed from the importance of our jobs to others. What we do has meaning and now, more than ever, it can have a far-reaching and positive impact. So, lets focus on what we can do and what we can contribute to a successful outcome for all. Think about how we can use our talent to bring joy, hope and confidence into the lives and work of those around us.

When we do, we will rise above this crisis and be the better for it. Evidence that we can rise above, and to provide a little inspiration, please watch this beautiful display of talent and humanity rising from the city of humanism, Florence Italy. Link