"You Down with PPE? Yeah, You Know Me!" Pause. Pivot. Evolve.
Our lives are chaotic. Prior to the disruption of COVID-19, my calendar made me dizzy; family obligations, work appointments, school board meetings, youth sports schedules, volunteerism, PTA events, and more. Like so many modern families, the Adams were constantly doing something, prioritizing importance, and counting the minutes until the next activity. Honestly, I thrive in madness, and the challenge to find physical, emotional, and mental balance is something I enjoy most days. I don't know if our way of life is right or wrong, but it's been our norm for years; with already packed calendars, our family continued to take on new projects, clients, and challenges...until three weeks ago.
If you're an extroverted person who gets energy and joy from being around other people, typically has every minute of the day accounted for, and maybe, was in the very beginning stages of launching a leadership development company, what do you do when the world just stops? For me, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I went into shock. I gave my son unlimited screen time, lost myself in old episodes of "Vanderpump Rules", showering became optional, and I cried in a corner more times than I would like to admit. In our "new normal" of social distancing and isolation, the extrovert in me, who hugs EVERYONE and is constantly on the move, felt lost and depressed.
When I realized my couch was beginning to mold to my body, and my hair was matting to my head, I knew it was time to get up and move forward, physically and mentally; this crisis is not permanent, and although it is halting personal and professional goals in the moment, we need to continue to look to the future. I believe that COVID-19 is an opportunity to learn; the time we have been given to slow down and reset, should be used to revitalize and goal set.
Personally, I have loved creating memories with my family; my son and I built a garden box, we're watching virtual concerts, we've explored the woods around our house, and we take a long family walk at least once a day. None of these things occurred before COVID-19, and I'm incredibly grateful for this time with my boys. The highlight of the past week was having time to work with our son, to help him overcome his fear of riding a two wheeler, which has paralyzed him for 18 months; it's hard to keep up with him now as he flies down the sidewalk! My husband and I couldn't be more proud.
I'll always prefer face to face interaction (I'm an extrovert, remember?!); I wasn't planning to build a virtual training presence, however, our global pandemic has led me to become more comfortable and confident in this space. I provided a session on leading through change for 35 local women leaders for the WILMA Leadership Institute, I have begun sharing virtual connection and engagement strategies on social media through my Virtual Leader Snapshot Series, and I've even had the opportunity to present my services for consideration to a local company via Zoom meeting. COVID-19 won't stop my company's growth and progression, but it is encouraging me to think differently about my business model, and I hope it's doing the same for others.
Somewhere in the near future, we will return to the office, we will shop without masks, athletic fields will again be filled with cheers, and we will be allowed to hug friends and family. When we get to the other side, business will need to be agile, and prepared for a new world, post pandemic. Are you ready?
What stage of PPE are you in? If you're still on the couch, and need assistance moving past "pause", email firstname.lastname@example.org; book an individualized coaching session, and I'll help you move through "pivot", to "evolve".
Follow our Virtual Leader Snapshot Series on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook; search "WNY People Development".