These past couple of weeks have been anything but “business as usual”, and so I’ve decided to break from my usual pre-set blog calendar and venture into the many discussions that are taking place in society and in the family enterprise space, on the many impacts the sudden uncertainty has us all facing.
I still have plenty of blog subjects that I want to get to about business families and their challenges in transitioning their wealth to the next generation, and we’ll get back to those in due time.
But lately, as I’ve come across “regular” content in my inbox or on social media that seemed to act as if we were all still in the “same old, same old”, I’ve had an almost visceral reaction to some of it, as it struck me as tone deaf or just a little too oblivious for me to spend any time on, you know, right now.
Inflection Points – No Going Back
This past week, I was speaking with my coach, Melissa, about the new realities we are facing because of Covid19. I was pleased and not too surprised when she told me that I am by far her calmest client right now, as most others are freaking out.
I shared with her my belief that we will be learning a LOT over the next few months; about the world we live in, about people, and about leadership.
We’ve hit a number of inflection points, and while it’s way too soon to predict how this will all shake out, I can state with great confidence that many things will never be the same again.
But most of us will be just fine.
One of the unexpected changes many of us are being confronted with is more family time.
My wife and I have been “empty nesters” for almost five years (thanks in large part to boarding school) but we are now back into “full house” mode with both of our college undergraduates at home, likely finishing up their school years “online”.
It’s too early to tell how it will all work out, but so far, so good, everyone seems to have the right attitude, even with the “self quarantine for 14 days” part that they’re expected to respect after returning from the US.
Isolation and Distancing
This call for social distancing and isolation is being received better in some places and by some demographics than others, which is not unexpected either.
What it will do to the economy is still unknowable, but the variety of timelines we’ve been hearing as people make their guesses as to how long until we’re back to normal is causing tremendous market turbulence.
In the future it will be easy to see where we should have been buying back in, but for now, it’s anybody’s guess.
Leadership – Good, Bad, Ugly
The leadership that we’ve been seeing on our TV every day has varied tremendously, from good, to bad, to downright ugly.
I won’t weigh in on who I think fits into each category, suffice it to say that I’ve seen a few in each category from politicians.
But I guarantee you that there will be some people that nobody knew before this crisis who will end up being heroes, and others who will get rich, and still others whose reputations will never recover.
But the jury is still out on all of that, and may be for a few months more.
Technology and Connection
Some of the good news is that technology now makes remaining connected so much easier than ever before.
As I wrote a few months back in Who’s Zooming Who?, I’ve become a huge fan of using the Zoom platform for online face-to-face meetings, both for 1-on-1 and group meetings.
More and more people are slowly learning about the benefits of such meetings, because they really don’t have much choice.
Reach Out, Just to Check In
One thing I’ve been doing (and promise to do more of) is to reach out to people, including clients and colleagues, from the past and present (and future?).
Reaching out without any particular angle or purpose, but simply to check in.
Connection is always important, and when times are filled with uncertainty, it becomes even more clear.
See you next week. Excuse me now, I’m going to call my mother.