Three Things That I Have Learned During This Pandemic

practical speak graphic element29 April 2020 Three Things That I Have Learned During This Pandemic

Sheltered in place, surprisingly, I have had greater opportunities to connect with friends and colleagues. I have learned much about others – people and companies – and myself through the course of these conversations with company leaders. So, what have I learned?​​We are more reflective and appreciative
The current crisis has forced us to look inwards more. We are contemplating our blessings and our choices more thoughtfully than before. We are recognizing that each one of us is fighting a common threat and that each one of us shares a similar responsibility toward others. Our appreciation for the service being provided by healthcare workers, enforcement officers and supply chain employees, among others, has grown manifold. We have a greater understanding of our global connectedness and how, regardless of different cultures, we are more similar than separate. We see our society differently and with a lot more admiration and awareness.  The fear of the unknown, the ultimate driving force, is compelling this introspection and we are better for it.

Companies increasingly becoming focused on employee well being
We are moving beyond paying lip-service to “we take care of our employees” slogan. Several companies are leading the way where employees are truly being appreciated for the assets they always have been. At these companies, the concern for employees is over-riding profit considerations for the time being. Surely, revenue and profits will continue to be the focus for companies as they should be, however, there’s a palpable sense for what’s at stake here. Without the efforts of a healthy workforce there are no profits. This crisis, though unfortunate, is helping us all understand this tenet at a deeper level. We are awakening to the fact, that only when we support each other, do we build something awesome. We are valuing people in our lives more and uniting to fight this unprecedented threat together.

We are more empathetic toward our customers
In conversations with Sales and Marketing leaders over the last few weeks, I am observing an elevated sense of purpose. These leaders are first discussing the “state of mind” and the “personal pains” of their customers. They are paying more attention to how to help their customers and not just focused on selling their products/services to them. They are going deeper; they are building empathetic relationships and they are paying attention to real problems their customers face. Yes, they are still doing their jobs of selling and marketing, but they are doing so with greater sensitivity. We are rethinking our approach of relating to our audiences with greater purpose.

As a business leader, these learnings give me immense hope for our future. Being introspective, employee-centric and customer empathetic, are all agreeable traits for building a great business. At a time like this, as leaders, we need to embrace such learnings and share our sense of optimism and hope with any and all.

Stay safe everyone.