COVID-19 can feel like a harsh teacher. Painful, new lessons are emerging from the ashes of this experience – including this one: there is no return to normal. The post-COVID world will be a world with an entirely new normal, one that gets created right now by intentional people who are positioned for future acceleration.
If you are hoping to be one of them, here are three simple ways that top business leaders around the globe are preparing for a rapid post-COVID acceleration.
Exchange Your Mantra from Go Faster to Slow is Fast
The idea of slowing down seems counter-intuitive when you think about ramping up for a surge forward. Yet, this time allows for a different kind of preparation, one that starts with deep rest.
A great metaphor for the importance of this comes in the life of Secretariat, the greatest racehorse in history. Just as he was making his push to become a Triple Crown winner, an infection interfered with his performance. Yet, it proved to be a strange gift to him because it required that he stopped for deep rest. When he came back afterward, he came back stronger and faster than any horse ever before him.
True, you are not a racehorse, but if you’re like most people, sometimes you push yourself like you are. And, right now, pushing yourself to do more will not necessarily help you perform faster later. The wisdom of Alice Walton seems appropriate here: “Learn to sit with that feeling [of uncertainty] (through mindfulness and meditation) and let yourself navigate through it without coming apart … this is probably about the best thing we can do right now.”
Rebalance Your Life
Many people were out of balance before the pandemic started. The stress of this time has amplified this imbalance, particularly if you continue to foster the same patterns you had before. Like the tires of your car when they are out of balance, your imbalance will ultimately affect your ability to function effectively. If you want to perform better when this is over, one of the best ways to prepare is to bring your life into balance.
There is a simple way to do this. Each week, begin by listing your most important roles, including family, community/church, and work. Don’t forget to add Self to this list, as it is essential for you to nurture your physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual sides to stay in balance going forward. Stephen Covey called this Sharpen the Saw.
Next, list one thing you can do to nourish and grow each role this week. Then, put these important things first in your life. Voila! You will see your balance increase in new, positive ways as energy begins to pour back into your sometimes world-weary soul.
Be Still to Be More.
This time offers a gift – not to “do” more, but to “be” more. It can be a gift for practicing “being” by responding in new positive ways to people in your life and the situations that frustrate you – including COVID-19. This means taking time without frenetic activity to be still so you can see differently and be different. You can’t pick up the gift of deeper peace and connected relationships as you speed by people going 60 mph. You can only receive these gifts when you slow down and allow yourself to see things you haven’t seen in a long time.
This is the time be still to be more, especially to be more to those who matter most. This is the time to rebalance your life and roles. It is the time to go slow so you can go fast later.
As you apply these three practices, you’ll find that on the other side of this pandemic, you’ll be ready for the race that lies ahead.
This article has been written by DeAnna Murphy – the founder and CEO of People Acuity and principal author of Shift Up! Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living and Choose to See You – in collaboration with co-thought leaders, Lisa Gregory and Steve Jeffs. It includes information about Interdependent Leadership, which starts with helping leaders lead themselves more effectively. DeAnna is a Top 100 Global Coaching Leader who has provided keynotes and leadership development experiences in 32 countries. To learn more about how to self-lead during this time (and beyond) with a COVID-19 special virtual program CLICK HERE.