When the impossible becomes possible
Lessons learned from a global pandemic
I have never remotely thought this was going to be the title of my first blog post… life is always full of surprises!
I am sure we will all get out of this pandemic transformed and evolved in many ways. For me, there are a few very important points that I would like to start sharing with you as food for thought and hints for further reflection.
Connection, connection, connection!
More than ever, I am feeling a connection with all human beings around the globe. It is incredible and touching for me to think that we are all in this together and that no one could make it alone.
From Bombay to New York, from Milan to São Paulo, from Lagos to Beijing… we are all in the same storm and we must navigate through it together, holding and supporting each other.
And it is sadly ironic how, while many of us feel this urge for broader connection, we are physically disconnected even from our closest dear ones… And here it is, virtual birthday parties with grandparents, zoom aperos with friends, skype playdates for the little ones helping us all to still be together although far apart.
Is it enough? No, of course, not! I am having a recurrent dream these nights, of me meeting a dear friend, hugging her with deep love and then feeling guilty for not having kept one meter apart…
But as human beings we are incredibly adaptable, and we are adapting to our current normal much more easily than we could have thought before all this started.
As leaders, why not asking ourselves…
- What can we do, now and in the future, to enable, create and reinforce this caring connection even further, within our team, with our clients, customers, patients, across organisations and communities?
- Which new opportunities would this deeper connection create? What would be possible?
- In which other creative ways could we leverage the extreme adaptability we showed in times of crisis also in “normal” times?
With remote working and homeschooling families are reunited under one roof 24/7, probably for the very first time for many of us.
Despite all the difficulties and struggles that this can create, what a gift to spend so much time with our partners, kids, pets!
As boundaries between personal and professional time and space become blurred, we see toddlers popping in business virtual meetings, kids using parents zoom accounts (and changing name and background so as to embarrass mom when reconnecting for a business meeting… personal story over here ;-)), discovering for the first time how homes and families of our coworkers look like, and probably knowing a bit more about them beyond their job title and project role.
My hint for reflection here is:
- How can we keep bringing our own selves to work, and not only the suit-and-tie, head-only part of ourselves?
- How can we encourage and create a work environment where there is more flexibility for everyone in terms of time/space/ways of working that allows us all to better balance all the important components of our life?
- How do we redefine the priorities so as to focus our own and our teams’ effort on what really counts?
Impossible becoming possible
I am fascinated by looking at the pictures of the major cities around the globe with no cars, almost no pedestrians, blue clear skies, animals going back to roam the streets, and nature just reclaiming its own space.
Was this something we could have thought of only 6 months ago? Heck no! And yet it is happening, we are doing it.
And if on one side we all cannot wait to go back out there again fully, meet our colleagues face to face, enjoy a beer in a pub with friends, go to that art exhibition, take our kids to the playground with their friends, go to have a proper hair cut, yet it would be foolish to simply go back to “life as before” without leveraging on all that the pandemic has revealed to us.
As my food for thought for us all:
- What is the new normal we want to build together after this pandemic, and what is our personal contribution to it?
- What has the pandemic taught us, about the sustainability of our growth model, the impact of our business and lifestyle choices on the environment, the gap between rich and poor, men and women, first, second and third world countries, majorities and minorities, just to name a few?
- If the impossible has become possible for months (or maybe years), what other impossible dreams can we collectively pursue? What is our personal contribution to it?
The world needs great leaders, now more than ever, so let’s act and remember that, as Nelson Mandela reminds us "It always seems impossible until it's done"
Interesting insights and a lot of food for thoughts. thanks for sharing.