There is nothing new under the sun…ever heard that phrase. It from a biblical passage, Ecc. 1:9.
Well, in the time of Covid, you might be thinking…is that true now? These are unprecedented times. We’re entering into a new normal (not a fan of that phrase)…but ok, yes things are definitely unsettling and uncertain. And, some elements of life may permanently change…or not. We’ll see.
However, there are some very human, historical and universal truths that are settled, certain and will remain unchanged.
While we get tossed about by how we and others are describing this current experience, as someone who lives in the realm of human behavior in life and business, I can say – and I hope this is encouraging- there are some things…and I dare say the most important things… that has not changed and will not change.
This should be comforting news! There are some very important things that are unchanging in the midst of uncertainty that we can hold on to – anchor ourselves to – as we weather potential stormy times ahead. This is true both personally and professionally.
And, what would be an essential and very useful activity is to take the time to recognize and deeply connect to this truth.
So What Has Remained The Same? What’s Certain?
Ultimately, who we are as human beings – how we’re created and wired – as well as our core human needs, fundamentally do not change.
No matter the context – our human makeup drives everything from how we’re managing homeschooling, being an essential worker to business owners deciding how to navigate their unique challenges.
Specifically in business, whether you are now migrating back to an office or working remotely, your human needs, that of your colleagues, those you lead, your client or customer are still the same.
Though you wouldn’t think so by the plethora of “new ways to manage” articles and webinars being offered to be a more effective remote leader/manager. Themes like being more compassionate, having more empathy, developing your emotional intelligence…which can all be categorized as in essence – being more human.
Here’s a news flash –
Human needs have not changed just because we’ve decided to pay more attention to them and now are spotlighting their value.
In any context, personal or professional, compassion and empathy, for example, have always been needed. The kindness of my banker was needed and welcomed before COVID and will after. A leader’s ability to develop’/have emotional intelligence has been a popular need expressed for years.
Here’s what’s changed… these human, relational qualities are now positioned front and center – a defining element – to management and leadership success.
How we relate (lead and manage) in a time of crisis and change is now the new success currency, because other elements in working together (onsite office culture and camaraderie for example) covered up or diminished the impact of its weakness or complete absence…affording palatable toleration.
What has remained the same is the heart, mind, soul, and spirit of who we are, what shows up to work every day and is impacted by those with whom we work. Period. As long as we work with – interact with – another human being, this will not change.
The context may be different, but our human makeup remains the same. And this is what we must become and remain anchored to – hold on to and use as our core guide going forward – no matter what.
Our “new normal” is actually our normal and has been for centuries.
What has remained are those executive leaders, managers at all levels who became effective because they were the most relatable and human and could appropriately work with the human needs in others. They will have the easiest time with the future of work transition because they have already created meaningful connections with their team that can be transferred or translated anywhere.
They knew creating connection, fostering a productive collaborative community was not based on or held together by physical space but based on the unseen space of heart, mind and spirit.
Ironically, this achievement provided the ultimate conditions for the most productive, profitable teams that could be manifested anywhere at anytime. This is the ultimate in effective leadership.
And that’s why I wrote the executive briefing book The Human Quotient. This is what we help leaders achieve – we call it “people acumen” or HQ. Our experience has taught us that business acumen is weakened without a meaningful level of HQ.
Additionally, we created a blueprint to marry business and people acumen. It’s a road map for improving results by cultivating effective leadership and management in a way that can be financially measured through the lens of human behavior science…by amplifying and valuing the human experience.
My advice during this time?...recognize and anchor yourself to that which is not changing…the needs of humanity, yourself, your family, colleagues and friends. Let it stabilize and anchor you as you navigate what’s in front of you and what lies ahead.