Opportunities in a crisis

I write an internal company newsletter and I took a wild departure from the content and format this week:

I woke up early this morning and the NBA is canceled. Tom Hanks has Coronavirus. Travel restrictions to China and Europe. Our friends at Exabeam are struggling with it.

Oh my.

Whenever faced with something that you genuinely don’t have control over, the only logical response is to look for opportunities that weren’t there before.

I’m NOT talking about exploiting a crisis to make a quick buck. But leading in the industry means leading in ALL situations. All Markets. In high times and in low.

What can you do now that was difficult a month ago? We’re all effectively on extended snow days. Travel and in-person contact are limited.

The opportunity is time.

Two things can happen now that couldn’t before. Deep work and long conversations.

Work deeply. You can unplug and work on that thing that takes LONG periods of uninterrupted thought and concentration. You know, more than 20 minutes. Write that article or whitepaper you’ve been thinking about. Decide on who the next market leader will be. Identify trends and write about it. Make videos. Write letters and emails. Learn new skills…

Have long conversations. We live in an amazing time where communication is cheap and reliable. So have those long conversations on the phone or video chat you never seem to have the time for. Make your customers your friends. Instead of the quick call asking how you can help them today, you now have time for long, serious work about actual problems to be solved. What can you do there that’s genuine, and has a long term impact? Call that rep that’s been hard to get ahold of and toss around ideas.

Call a work colleague and start putting things on a virtual whiteboard. Those projects that you’ve been saying “we’ll get to that next quarter” for too many quarters in a row. Do them now.

Call your mother. Or your sister. Or that friend you’ve been meaning to bury the hatchet with.

It’s an opportunity, so let’s frame it that way. Use it as a way to be closer. More deliberate. In our work and with each other.

Next week I’ll be back to my regular internal newsletter format. I’m always around for you, so text, call, email, smoke signals. Whatever.

“Calm is contagious” – Commander Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL

So keep calm and wash your hands.
Happy Thursday!

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