We are just now watching the lifting of coronavirus restrictions worldwide. It is sweet to see grandparents hug their grandchildren, long delayed funerals finally take place, and life make a turn toward something approaching normal. Yet before we fully leave our caves, I want you to ponder your experience and discern some vital lessons for your future. So let me ask some tough questions that will help you.
First, who called? Who cared? Who invested? I don’t want you to get small and angry about the answers to these questions, but I do want you to look those answers fully in the face. The ones who called and cared? That’s your band of brothers or sisters. Those are the ones you can build with. The ones you think are your friends but who over nearly two months never even picked up the phone—well, you finish the sentence. But be at peace about this. Not hurt and bitter. Life is giving you some important information.
Second, what did you turn to for comfort? There are the healthy answers to this question, of course. Family, exercise, faith, reading and such. Then there is the over drinking and the mountains of sweets and the porn or the long hours of binge watching crap. Look fearlessly at this question. The answer will help you identify enemies that will come again to destroy you.
Third, what forces did you find arising in your soul? Did you consider suicide? Did you sink into self-pity? Did bitterness possess you? Did fear immobilize you? Whatever the answers in your case, these are the enemies of your soul. They lurk until an opportune moment. Then they pounce. If they pounced during Covid-19 shutdowns, they will pounce again. Know them. Declare war on them. Get help.
Fourth, where in your life weren’t you prepared practically? Did you go into this thinking, “Dang, I wish I was out of debt!” Had you failed to make those funeral arrangements? Had you put off getting life insurance? Ask the tough questions. Face the solutions. I have a friend who admitted that his finances were a mess as he entered the shutdown. He also wasn’t ready for the possibility of his death. He told me yesterday, “Trust me, I’m going to read every Dave Ramsey book I can find and do whatever he tells me to do!” What’s your version of this?
Fifth, if your firm kept working during the crisis, who performed magnificently? Who stood out, innovated, or proved themselves invaluable? Keep your eye on them. Build with them. Promote them. You want more of what they have to bring to your firm.
Finally, what skills did you wish you had mastered when this crisis descended on you? Did you wish you were a better storyteller for your kids? Did you wish you had taken that accounting course? Did you wish you could cook better or tune your own car or that you had taken an EMT course so you could provide emergency medicine for your family? I’ve heard all these responses. What’s yours? Now, go get it done.
That’s it. Tough questions for leaders who plan to be better in the season to come. Face it. Call in reinforcements. Master it. Be better than ever.