It is far from a secret that most companies would confidently state that they are not operating their businesses as usual. The definition of not operating as usual can take on two perspectives: dive into the challenge and embrace the need for innovation and evolution, or panic and make irrational decisions. The former will not necessarily guarantee success – but it sure increases your odds. The latter perspective will certainly lead to struggles for your organization or an unwanted disruption in your career.
With “stay at home” orders in place and many industries unable to operate traditionally, most people believe that they have a lot more time on their hands and can perceive it as having less day-to-day responsibilities. While it is easy to view this increased flexibility as a time of rest and escape from reality, I urge you to take another more profound look. It is during times of crisis that we must push ourselves to do the exact opposite.
Now is the moment to create and transform. Those that take advantage of a remote work style and a social life that is void of (wanted and unwanted) distractions can find increased efficiency. The workload that you are used to doing may be lesser, but the workload that you should be doing now is greater. You should be busier than ever – but you will need to evolve and create those meaningful tasks. It is not business as usual, but that does not mean this is an extended vacation. If you are a business leader and entrepreneur: your attention to every important task will dictate your survival if your industry is in a period of massive disruption. If you are an emerging talent or even a seasoned veteran, your ability to be productive and useful to your organization may be the difference between employment or a very unwelcome change to your career.
The situation that we all find ourselves in currently, is an opportunity to work harder, longer and smarter in order to adapt and succeed during crisis. You will be better off in the long run – no matter the industry or your level of disruption.
Likewise, this is a time for personal growth. There is next to no reason why everyone cannot come out of this situation with self-improvement. If you no longer have to commute, then you now have time to workout. If you have always wanted to learn a hobby such as learning how to cook better, or to simply just read more books: you have flexibility in your schedule. You do not necessarily have “more time,” because you should be as busy or busier with your professional obligations – if you are fortunate enough to be active with your career or company. Staying active depends on your ability to adapt and fight any temptation to believe now is a time of wandering thoughts and inaction. However, you do have more flexibility because our lives are simpler for the time being. For non-essential workers, we do not commute. For all of us, our socializing is limited or virtual. These factors provide that extra opportunity to work on your health, your fitness, your desired hobby and your professional pursuits.
For me personally, I find myself more productive. I am literally locked in 24/7. I am a firm believer in the job being done, when it is done right – whether that is at 3:00pm, 5:00pm or 5:00am. I speak for myself and the rest of my team when I say, we never truly “clock-out,” especially not now. Anthem is like many others in the live entertainment, event, hospitality and experiential worlds: our projects have largely come to a standstill. Yet our team is buzzing with activity both to reinvent the present and to position us for life after society opens up. I implore you to think of this time in the same manner. It is not business as usual, but that means create your opportunity and keep finding ways to move forward. The lessons that you learn now will not only serve an immediate purpose, but they will benefit you for the long-term, when business does return as usual.
By Chris Sinclair
Founder, The Anthem Group