The truth is not eloquent. While many of you may be doing your best to maintain sanity and survive professionally through this Season, many leaders of organizations that did not accept government stimulus money with promises not to lay off employees are carefully examining real efficiencies gained over the past few months. Leaders are taught to how to maximize opportunities presented during a time of crisis. We have done a phenomenal job of meeting the needs of our students, clients, customers, and patients these past few months under extreme circumstances. For that I personally thank you since there is no doubt it could not have happened without you. And, considering I am here for your growth, not your comfort, please know that no one is under the impression you have been working 8+ hours from home like your last time sheet indicated before you were asked not to report to the office. You are an expensive asset (and financial liability) to the organization which they were happy to pay, until now. Businesses are taking a HUGE financial economic hit at the moment and balance sheets must be recalibrated for survival. We are caught up in a national debate on who is considered 'essential' in a time of crisis. Can your ego handle the answer to this question when we are no longer in this current state of affairs?
I would strongly advise you kick it up a notch on making clear the value you add to the team. Perhaps display your value by considering using your meeting technology to teach your peers how to do something. Take advantage of this time to learn a skill or increase an understanding of the work of a peer in another department. Familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of your department or organization. Start knocking off as many things on the 'to do' list you had two months ago so that you do not appear to be behind when we return to the office. Feeling confident in your position no matter what? Great. Now stop being selfish and start making sure your teammate is in a position to feel the same way!
Is it required that you listen to me or take my advice seriously? Nope. I would take a minute however to understand what it is I do. My posted highlight reels are always of me on stage making people laugh, smile, and think. I am often retained to inject a sense of calm, urgency, and optimism to very complex and uncomfortable topics. Make no mistake about hit though, I was also there as a final plea for you to embrace the organizational culture or start making some tough personal decisions. Just like you figured out how to survive this Season with less resources, fewer contacts, and limited assistance, I advise and design strategy with the person to whom you report on how to do the same thing for your organization. Everyone is not coming back to the way it used to be, if everyone is coming back at all.
NOW, not when you return, is when you should be making clear the value you bring to the team. I would rather fewer people delivering amazing service than an entire team of people just helping us get by. Mediocrity has been exposed and I do not wish for anyone reading this note to be caught on that side of the line. I believe you add value and we cannot do this without you. It does not matter what I believe though if you do not believe it yourself. Handle your business!
Stay diligent, stay focused, and stay safe!
Reminder; Today (Tuesday, April 28th) on the air we'll be discussing the topic of Empathy, Sympathy, and Compassion. What's the difference and why does it matter both personally and professionally. Tune in at 10AM CST; Leadership The Way I See It.