Minding What Matters (Leadership Effectiveness)

A CEO’s perspective on facing the ‘New Normal’

Keep Calm.

It all seems to take more effort. On the face of it, it should be easier; no commute and working from home on your terms should have finally delivered the elusive work-life balance. Yet one adjective I would not use right now is balanced. Everything is uncertain, unbalanced, awkward, and inconvenient. And it’s changing even faster than before. Top that off with all the ‘shouty’ advice about viruses, economies, geopolitics, lockdowns, school reopening, and it quickly becomes overwhelming.

Now add all the advice being pushed by business experts; Ivy League Universities, Top 4 Consultancies, Always-On News Channels, Media Commentators, Local Chambers of Commerce, and many more offer their ‘sure thing’ solution to a problem you are not even sure you have.

Then in the middle of it, you see Michelle Obama describing her condition as low-grade depression in her new podcast. What Michelle described applies to all 7.8 billion people living on the planet right now.

In the words of the great prophet “If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.” Buddha

I think we all need to hit the reset button. Ask yourself;

How do you feel?

What are the really important things?

What matters right now?

What do I need to do?

At times like this, I often return to one of the great thinkers of the modern era, Stephen Covey, a thought leader and educator at the University of Utah, best known for his seminal book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. He makes it really simple and I’ll borrow a quote from his business writing that applies to all aspects of our lives:

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” Stephen Covey 

Covey advocates a simple principled approach characterised in simple questions, that often takes some reflection to answer.

How can I keep myself mentally and physically safe?

How can I keep my loved ones safe?

How can I keep my organisation/friends/community safe?

Once we are taking steps to mind these three we’ll be OK.

Right now we need to dial down the quantity and volume of all the solutions and dial up the voice of our personal purpose and values.

Keep calm.


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