Image from Shutterstock
The impact of COVID-19 is impacting our global community on many levels: professionally, economically, politically, philosophically, and personally. The way we work will move from open-plan office spaces to remote WFH positions. The economic impact is just beginning. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses - the lifeblood of our economy - are predicted to close and never return, as larger companies (many publicly traded), were granted concierge-like service in securing their government assistance efficiently and promptly.
Many small businesses have yet to receive a penny - with a large percentage of women and minority-owned businesses unable to gain approval for their applications. The void between the ultra-wealthy and the diminishing middle-class continues to widen. Not since the Gilded Age have so few people controlled the vast majority of wealth, dictating policy and impacting major decisions.
Politically - though politics is a taboo subject on business-related platforms, in this case, it cannot be overlooked. While the utter incompetence of our government in preparing for the public health and safety, the dire need for testing, and inconsistent mitigation measures will later be studied, we know enough to recognize that we are not in capable hands. An authoritarian leader not fond of the truth, mimicking China in removing those scientists and doctors that dare speak the truth is a national disgrace. This administration has forged a clear and dangerous political divide. Red and Blue have never seemed so stark.
"The urgency of now was yesterday" ~ Jose Andres, Founder of World Central Kitchen
This dangerous divide is making us mistrustful and sick. Our social fabric has been shattered through ongoing lies and misrepresentations. Groups that were historically marginalized for their ignorant and evil beliefs have now taken to our streets spewing their hatred and vitriol against all who are not white and male.
This consistent barrage of mindless disregard for the truth and the lives of others has affected all of us on levels we might not even realize yet. We have lost our moral compass, mutual respect, our empathy. The foundation of the spirit of America has been trashed and trampled. We have lost our compassion, our heart.
There are no indicative measures to predict how this global pandemic will affect the attitudes, interactions, and approaches of individuals in their daily lives. How the loss of so many of their loved ones and friends, their jobs and savings will manifest going forward.
I am working to instill empathy and a deeper understanding through the dissemination of accurate information and the cultivation of emotional intelligence, a honed soft skill set. The transformation is clear and meaningful: Leadership in action looks different.
Cultural inclusion makes room for diversity and its accompanying impact when considering the various viewpoints of all of your customers, their unique attitudes, needs, and desires, directly impacting client satisfaction and referrals, deepening brand trust, promoting growth.
Emotionally intelligent leaders encourage creativity over standard operating procedures or "because they've always done it this way." They take an active and sincere approach in asking (and listening) to the goals of their employees - they help them get there. Studies show that recruiting, retention, loyalty, and employee output fuel referral business, spurring unprecedented growth and unparalleled employee satisfaction.
We must and can learn lessons from this tragedy, promulgating an empathetic approach, instilling decisive stewardship towards our fragile planet, our battered souls, and each other.