A Letter From Our Talent Plus Family

Covid-19 messages pervade every aspect of our current daily lives, with guidance about how best to survive the current pandemic while protecting the world around us. We are also inundated with expert projections regarding what the world “may” look like when the pandemic subsides, something we really don’t yet know. And while that uncertainty is incredibly frustrating and unnerving as you try to plan for tomorrow, how does one lead others through this unimaginable cloud?

Much of it comes down to caring. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

As a leader, are you connected to each person who works for you and with you? If not, now is the time to reach out in some manner and learn more about them. Ask questions. Be willing to provide answers. Now is the time to prioritize relationships. In our current remote work environment, we must be increasingly intentional about creating opportunities for virtual interaction with colleagues, friends and family. And, managers and leaders must lead by example. For those of you selflessly working on the front lines of health care, relationships, caring and compassion are at the core of everything you do, and we are eternally grateful.

Larry Sternberg, a Talent Plus Fellow and Board Member, and co-author of Managing to Make A Difference (Wiley 2017) offers some tips for managing a team during a time of crisis:

  • Demonstrate grace under pressure. Lead with courage. Lean in. Be present with your people.
  • Be decisive. Listen to advisors, consider information, then make decisions. Don’t sit on the fence.
  • Express confidence that the team will overcome this challenge.
  • Over communicate. Update people daily, at least. Answer all questions openly and honestly.
  • Express compassion for people who are frightened and stressed. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving forward despite the fear. Check in with your people to see what support they need.
  • Articulate your expectation that each person does his or her job, despite the stress of the situation.
  • Highlight and celebrate successes, large and small.
  • Maintain your sense of humor. Find things to laugh about. This is a major contribution to morale.

Now, more than ever, relationships are paramount. Reach out in whatever virtually inclusive manner works for you. Even the simplest gesture to convey empathy and your desire to help. That message of “We are thinking about you,” will leave a lasting impression. Whether you are “Zooming” with your workmates or on the Houseparty app with friends or family, we must stay connected to one another even when maintaining that physical social distance. This is a time for us all to come together. In fact, we invite you to join us for a Virtual Formation at 8:45 am CST, our daily standup meeting via Microsoft Teams, to see how we are staying connected day after day and how we are engaging with our values and one another during this unprecedented time.

We offer one final thought as we stand ready to serve as a listening ear, a helpful consultant and, whenever desired, an activator of change for you.

Focus currently is perhaps our greatest challenge as business uncertainty and personal health concerns abound. Yet it is also one of the greatest gifts we can provide to those who rely on us as leaders and influencers to help them plan for tomorrow. With children out of school, social containment, working from home and disruptions all around, focus is the ultimate currency in this climate. How well we maintain that laser focus on helping those around us combat today’s seemingly insurmountable upheaval, while simultaneously thinking, acting and collaborating strategically to plan for the business climate of tomorrow, will determine our collective success moving forward.

Thinking of you all,

Makenzie Rath

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