Getting Personal as We Go Back to Work

By John Lynch, MBA | Chief Executive Officer | May 19, 2020

We are all impacted in one way or another from this pandemic. For me, the reality of it all struck harder more recently. A family member living on her own became ill. She had many of the symptoms that I have seen in the news repeatedly that could indicate COVID-19. My first thoughts were for her welfare – she is a little older and living alone. My mind was racing – how could she have gotten sick? She has been staying home, we have been delivering her groceries, and she has not come in direct contact with others. Or has she?

How quickly my mind switched gears from concerns for her to how could this have happened? Did she put herself at risk? Did we put her at risk in some way? And, now what does this mean for us? Are we now at risk? And how do we take care of her if she tests positive for the Coronavirus?

Currently, we do not know the results of her test, but she has already been making huge improvements. I realize too that we are not alone in this – many people across our country and the world have and potentially will go through similar worries and fears with their family members, close friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Going Back to Work

We are only beginning to understand the impact to our daily lives, to society and to our economy. That is why the next step for our country and each state individually is so important as we begin heading back to work and daily life outdoors.

Dwelling on the thought of returning to some normalcy, my mind wanders back to when I was first learning to ride a motorcycle at age 5. My dad raced motocross at that time, so I pretty much grew up on a race bike. I remember my dad explaining to me that I should lightly turn the throttle at first so that I did not take off too quickly, lose control and crash. Yes, I remember having a little anxiety at the time, but I was also excited to get moving!

I believe we are currently in a similar situation now as we know we need to get back to work. Although many of us are excited to go back to work and return to some normalcy as we are out in public, we should do this carefully and thoughtfully by “turning the throttle slowly” so that we maintain control of our destination. This is true for our country as a whole and this will be true for each person as we go back to work. Physical distancing is still important and maintaining our continuous regimen of washing our hands and sanitizing our areas will still be essential. If not, we might “crash” by turning the throttle too quickly.

Being the Example

Leadership is so valuable right now. As a leader we must turn the throttle slowly and ease into this new journey. We must set the example of keeping physical distance in the workplace and in public as we return to work, start seeing movies again, getting our hair styled or cut, and eating out again. The costs are high right now and we must navigate our course conservatively and methodically. If we go too fast, we might end up in a worse place without the assurances of a new Cares Act or the beginnings of a recovering economy. Having to pull back again would only set us further back and dissolve the optimism and enthusiasm that exists right now.

I want to be a leader that provides hope, direction, and a steady hand while we take the next steps toward recovery. Every leader of every business is important to our overall success. Move forward carefully, slowly and with well thought out intention so that we build on our current hope, recent successes, and our strength while our nation relentlessly works to defeat the invisible enemy. I know I am.

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