As we start into the third year of the pandemic, I don’t know about you, but I’m weary. My creativity is challenged. My search for innovation is slower. With the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, I welcomed the opportunity to do some research and write a white paper on the all-important concept of stakeholder leadership. I revamped my website, updated my marketing plan, and in general unleashed my pent-up ideas that had been just waiting for the time to focus. I gave myself three to five months to have it all completed, figuring the pandemic would last about six months. That supposed ending date was about 18 months ago!
Does this sound familiar?
By the summer of 2020, most of our neighborhood restaurants had developed not only a take-out business but also outdoor dining. There was some semblance of normal when we could meet our friends over a meal. Our local swimming pool opened and I got back to meeting my small neighborhood pool exercise group twice a week. Four of my immediate neighbors decided to have a distanced Friday wine get-together in our cul-de-sac. Things were moving in some direction.
Then September 2020 came and went as we faced another surge.
My work had transitioned to Zoom. While functional, it wasn’t perfect or as much fun. I’m an executive coach and need to be near the energy of my clients to do my best work.
Now, as 2022 starts and Omicron becomes a tsunami, I am beginning to research and write a follow-on white paper on the leadership agility needed for organizations to survive, as I watch the news of our political leaders playing out old outdated ideas, models and assumptions that no longer work or fit. Like two-year-olds, they hammer away, trying to force square pegs into round holes. We need leaders who can teach us what it means to be together – to be connected. We all need to realize that we are in a new land and the old ways no longer work.
I am carefully staying at home and working in my office, going to the grocery store in my new KN95 masks. And I am weary.
The word from 2020/2021 is pay attention and pivot, as this seems to be the only way to survive this wicked virus and the chaos in our society. It is what I have been doing for the past two years and so far, so good. However, I’m surprised at how being flexible gets old too, unless you’re in a dynamic environment with occasional positive feedback. I think I’ll add something to the mantra pay attention and pivot: I’ll add and find support and connection with others.