As many of us have had a lot of time at home we have had a lot of time to reflect? What is important? Are we on the right track? What path do we want to be on during this time and as we think about the future? As a result what changes do we need to make?
As I have reflected during this time I am very proud to feel like I have been developing the skills and tools necessary to put myself on the path of wisdom for a while now. While it was a hard journey sometimes (self-awareness, and breaking down old habit patterns) I discovered that I truly value going deep within and being deeply present. During this time I sat down and watched "The Last Dance," which documented Michael Jordan's last national basketball championship with the Chicago Bulls. In the last episode one of commentators said that what set Michael apart was that he lived in the present moment. Michael had said why would I worry about a shot I have not yet taken?
Being in the now is where the brilliance is. As a leader, as a parent, as a person the present is the only place we are able to be and develop and take action from. When our mind is wandering from the past to the future (as it is wired to do) we miss the only place we can truly be happy and/or make change in our lives.
How can you get present and access your own brilliance within? Whether you have extra time right now or are busier than ever, make some space to reflect and be in the moment. There are tons of great apps which help you to become mindful and/or I have started a YouTube page with a lot of short Mindfulness Moments. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxG1Gqr9xUMiPgF2t6pNyRQ?view_as=subscriber
With the Covid pandemic in place since mid-March here on the East Coast of the US I know that I was living in a day by day mode. I was looking at things in a very short term way and not focusing on the future because it was too hard. Being in the present, while scary and very different than how I used to live, was a survival mechanism. Now, however, even though the Shelter in Place has gotten extended here in Washington DC until June 8 I am planning for the future.
As leaders while we have to look at the short term tactical to get things done, we also have to be planning for the future, shaping the vision, and bringing people along with you. Innovation and creativity may be sprouting right now as planning for the future is requiring new ways of operating. Some of the current ways of operating such as working from home sometimes may become a part of the future, getting comfortable with more and more use of technology will continue, as perhaps might the strengthened relationships coming out of this time together.
But what will be needed for the future? How can you get innovative now on who your new customer base may be, what their needs may become, and what will be important to them? While none of have all of the answers many of us are now attempting to get educated on the new possible ways to look at the world. Stay intellectually curious. Get out (virtually) and talk to different people in your network to get different perspectives. Listen to Ted Talks and read the news (in moderation so don't get too down) but find ways to open up your curiosity muscle, get new perspectives, new inputs, and talk to different people. By doing so you can begin to see new patterns, new thought processes, as well as new data emerging. That can lead to the next innovation, the next brilliant idea, or the next collaboration.
How can you broaden your scope? What new things can you learn about today? What can you get curious about which can help you think through what to do, be, or create in the future?
With the end in sight for many of us of Shelter in Place and a return to moving again in the world, although in a very limited way, it feels like life is moving forward again. With leaders right now they are working towards what a new normal will look like, planning for the transition, but also still working through this neutral zone.
What are you hoping to return to? What does the new normal look like for you? I know for me as a leadership coach and trainer in-person training had come to a standstill. All were cancelled from the middle of March through at least the end of May with many postponing or cancelling all together. Coaching work was sustainable because most of it was virtual anyways, but in the meantime we got re-tooled onto virtual platforms and I finally conducted a three day virtual training class last week. And now clients are tiptoeing back asking for virtual delivery of training.
While this neutral zone caused a lot of fear and anxiety, planning for the future was beneficial. Getting retrained and retooled was helpful and being ready when clients returned was also essential. What can you be doing right now to prepare for the return to movement? What do you need to put into place to remain healthy while going back in some ways to bits of your life pre-Covid?
Planning is going to be essential so that when things do start moving you are ready to move forward. What actions do you need to begin to take today?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.