The ongoing COVID-19 situation should give everyone a moment to reflect on what is most important and to evaluate what is needed to move forward. I’m writing this piece late-night on my actual birthday. Despite it being well after midnight my thoughts are as clear as day. This year forces me to have extra introspection. There is no party – or even really any plan. My focus is solely on our global community and on my Anthem community.
Like many of us, I have survived personal crises. Now is a great time to harness the strength and knowledge that those experiences generate. From a business perspective, we have survived crises before as well and we will survive yet again.
The Anthem community is inclusive of our entire universe: the core team, the host of various support personnel, but also our vendors, collaborators, advisors, clients, patrons and more.
Yet with many businesses currently unable to generate revenue and economic disruption like we’ve never seen, it is the security and safety of my team that drives me the most. These people are my family and like most of you, I love my family. My team is everything. I will do all that I can for them, for as long as I can. I am not planning any layoffs. The one exception is that there is no CEO pay and there will not be until normalcy returns. We are training people on the fly in new areas of business. We are repurposing personnel. We are reinventing ourselves. The beautiful part is that everyone shares the mindset of doing whatever is necessary.
As Anthem evolved and expanded it had both successes and failures. Some of those previous setbacks pushed the growing company to the brink. Yet it was my incredible Anthem family that helped it rebound. We collectively kept our composure, worked harder and emerged stronger. The COVID-19 pandemic will be no different. I navigated through the toughest times with the support of my team. The thoughts of failure and giving up never entered my head. They simply could not.
In fact, I get excited by challenges. I fight even more tirelessly, think even more industriously and innovate even more swiftly. It is apparent to me that I do everything for reasons that are more important than revenue. Money is the way to keep score in business but that is not what energizes me.
The obstacles that Anthem has confronted in its history would be insurmountable for some. Instead, we always rise from the ashes. What would destroy most companies only invited us to be bolder and sturdier. While I appreciate any personal accolades, Anthem is not a one-man show. It would be foolish to claim that I am oblivious to my own sacrifices. But I am not the only one contributing. Many external Anthem supporters volunteered (and still do!) their time, talents or resources, which were critical to our recovery. Internally, our team deferred bonuses, temporary pay reductions, and a host of other efforts to enable our healing.
I reciprocate the loyalty to all of those that put their faith in me over the years. Together we have revived Anthem before. Together we will endure the current setback. Most importantly, I will fight for my family and not ever give up on them as they never give up on me. Our collective whole is what made us survive past challenges and it is what will make us thrive after this current test.
By Chris Sinclair
Founder, The Anthem Group