Business as Usual

The current state of the world absolutely does not allow business to be conducted as usual. Perhaps no time in history have businesses, and every person alive for that matter, been faced with so many unknowns.

No one likes unknowns.

In you’re in a leadership position then one of the things you should be doing right now is providing the people you lead with as many “knowns” as possible. Few things will be business as usual so find as many usual things as you possible can and put them in front of your people.

Many readers of this blog are not aware that in addition to writing this blog I also have a full time job. I do a ton of speaking each year. While I also speak outside of my industry the majority of my speaking opportunities are in support of my employer and our customers.

I never write about my “day job.” But the current crisis around the Coronavirus has provided me the opportunity to witness firsthand some truly outstanding leadership. But this week I would say I saw nothing less than brilliant leadership.

Those who know me also know that I am a harsh judge of leaders and leadership. I believe that if you have the audacity to call yourself a leader then you darn well better lead, really really lead. Lately I’ve seen a ton of what can only be described as Authentic Leadership.

In a company-wide meeting this week, conducted for the first time virtually for obvious reasons, the organization’s leadership made the decision to make the meeting as normal as possible.

There was a needed update on preparedness for and steps taken against the virus. But it did not dominate the meeting. It would have been easy, and expected, that the doom and gloom over-taking many organizations would have been the focus, but it was not. The focus was on business as usual.

That was the brilliant part.

It almost didn’t matter what was discussed. What mattered was what wasn’t. The current situation was appropriately covered and then it was on to business. Instead of sucking life out of the organization the leadership team literally pumped life along with enthusiasm into the organization. The calming effect of even a bit of normalcy could almost be felt over the Internet.

Brilliant is the only word I can think of to describe it.

It showed me the absolute importance of leading by example. If you’re in a position of leadership don’t merely tell your people that everything will be okay, show them. Show them by demonstrating as much normalcy in these highly unusual times as you possible can.

Business as usual will be challenging for the foreseeable future but I had a glimpse this week of just how much people are craving even a bit of normalcy. I’ve never written this before but for at least a while one of the best leadership actions you can take is to be so normal that you risk boring your team.

Now, as much as ever in history people need leadership. If you’re a leader who can provide the people you lead with even a bit of stability then you are a leader who was made for these times.

One last thought, I know business as usual will be nearly impossible for many people. You must understand that “nearly impossible” and “impossible” are two very different things. If you can’t keep business “usual” then figure out a way to provide your people a bit of normalcy in their personal lives. Leadership, at least Authentic Leadership isn’t easy and it doesn’t stop at the end of the work day. So don’t assume anything is impossible, just figure it out. That’s what great leaders do!

11 thoughts on “Business as Usual

  1. Your post is such a breath of fresh air in the middle of commotion in the field of business. Thanks so much for this post. I am a freelancer and the situation right now is causing me to be too nervous as several businesses are deciding to shut down and stop operations. This is why I depend on organizations like freelancer.com, upwork.com and recently, https://www.therisr.com/- hoping to get a job that will help me and my family out during this economic drought. Reading through your post gave a rather more positive and hopeful outlook regarding the situation. thanks and keep safe and healthy.

    1. Thanks Ruth, it’s a tough time to be freelancing, people, even business leaders, seem paralyzed by the unknowns. The best leaders are planning for the “other side” of this crisis, hopefully you’ll latch on with one of those. Stay healthy!

  2. I don’t like being normal, never have never will. I don’t like social distancing, but I do it, because it’s better than the alternative. We aren’t going back to the old normal for a long time, and that makes me sad…….but sad is better than the alternative.

    1. Well we have some choices to make. We can long for the old normal or make a better normal. I’m shooting for better, I hope a lot of people join me on the journey.

  3. We followed each other on Twitter until 9th of May, 2020. Can I ask you why you unfollowed @Motivate__Minds? I honestly don’t mind why, follow whoever you like.

    1. Twitter says I’m still following you. It is beyond rare that I would unfollow someone who is following me too… I can’t even recall the last time I unfollowed someone.

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