The Paradox of COVID-19

It’s been said that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. While that’s easy to say, it’s a perspective that only works well outside of the moment—the present tense. Given the world response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we face another paradox that we feel warrants discussion.

The High Impact and Low Cost of Recognition

Human beings are hard-wired to crave recognition. When we know that others are seeing us in a positive light, our brains release a few chemicals into our systems that makes us feel good both physically and emotionally. This feeling encourages us to engage or move towards the source that triggered it. In short, we move closer because we want more of that feeling.

A Brave Thing to Do

This company is the result of the merger of two smaller businesses, each of which brought very strong leaders to the table. They like and respect one another, and everyone believes the business combination was a good idea. They’re committed to creating one business, one team and one culture. They also are very inclusive and don’t want anyone to feel shut out.

Bad Apples and Culture

At the start of a recent client session, as we were going around the table and checking in, the Head of Finance said this:

“Since Tim left, the mood in my department is much better. In fact, it’s not just my department. It seems like across the entire company, the mood is better, the energy level is higher, and people are getting more done.”

Living Your Ideal Life

In business and life, we sometimes lose sight of why we do the things we do. In our hamster-wheel efforts to complete our endless to-do lists, it’s easy to become lost in the details of what occupies our time, our energy and financial resources. Most of us rarely stop and ask ourselves the simple question, “why?” In this environment, we lose sight of the reality that our businesses, though important and profoundly personal, are really just a means to an end, not the end itself. We forget to ask ourselves why doing what we do day-in and day-out is important.

One Giant Leap and “The Vision Thing”

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20 brought back some old memories. For my generation, Neil Armstrong’s first step onto the lunar surface is one of those few events in history where you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. I remember staying up a little late on a Sunday night and huddling around the TV with the rest of my family to watch him take the first step and utter those famous words: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The Cost of Ned

Knowing which employees really “belong” in your company is a puzzle. Life and business go smoothly when your people fit your company’s culture (“Right Person”) and sit in seats that they’re ideally built for (“Right Seat”). On the flip side, the cost of getting it wrong is also very real. But how can you put your finger on whether you have Right People sitting in the Right Seats?