After the Adrenaline, the Actual: Moving from Crisis to Business as Usual

user Catherine Gray

As another Zoom meeting came to a close and I shut my laptop for the day, I paused to reflect on what I was sensing from our clients. Something had shifted. When the pandemic first hit and thrust us all into our homes and into the unknown, leaders did what leaders do, they rose to the challenge. I watched as our clients found the higher ground, pivoted their businesses, did the best to take care of their employees, and adapted with agility to our new reality. There was a certain adrenaline that carried us all forward in the early days of the pandemic allowing for long work hours and herculean acts of leadership to ensure our institutions would not only survive but thrive.

Five months into the pandemic, the adrenaline has dwindled and what I am sensing is that we are all feeling a bit exhausted at the thought that this “new normal” may be longer than anyone imagined. I have experienced in my clients and in myself growing feelings of fatigue and anxiety in response to the uncertainty of the situation. How much longer will this go on? There are also hints of sadness at the missing of casual encounters with colleagues in the hallways and the upending of work and home life as we know it. Many clients face another school year with young children or college kids at home feeling both the stress of juggling parenting and work and also the sweetness of unexpected time crammed into a small space together. Other clients carry the worry of aging parents who are isolated and some brace themselves in the face of potentially losing their livelihoods. It is a stressful time for many and to top it off, our typical ways of destressing with cozy dinner parties around a table, or going to the gym or a yoga class, or taking a vacation have for the most part come to a halt.

So what do we grab for now? We can’t know what will happen in the weeks and months ahead but what we can control is how we meet and lead in this time of uncertainty. Leaders and clients are realizing we are in “a marathon not a sprint.” Self-mastery is more important now than ever as teams look to leaders to set the pace and provide inspiration. Your energy, your mindset, and your actions will determine the atmosphere around you and on your teams. So settle in, reconnect with your purpose, and decide how you want to show up during these extraordinary times. And put in place the self-care habits you need to ground and nourish you so that you can lead with possibility, equanimity, and inspiration. That is your responsibility as a leader.  And, please know you are not alone.  We at Trium, and thousands of other leaders, stand alongside you doing our own work, forging a path that has never been traveled before, and sharing our learnings with each other.

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