When everyone is busy reacting, who’s thinking?

*What* an unexpected start to 2020!

Like many, I now have a new routine - including checking my daughter’s temperature every morning, logging the reading on the school’s website before sending her on the school bus.

Everyone’s lives, schools, travels, supply-chain, to name a few are disrupted with Covid-19.  Employees can’t return to work thanks to quarantine, sales reps are not able to visit customers and stock markets have been fraught with fluctuations.

In such volatile, unpredictable times, we also see two extreme behaviors:
      (1) irrational over-reaction – like the panic buying or blaming an entire nation for bringing the virus to the world
      (2) put everything on-hold – let’s wait until things “return to normal”, essentially letting external factors dictate the future

In my inbox (likely yours too), more emails & feeds related to coronavirus.  Bill Gates & Elon Musk just issued very different responses to the coronavirus.  One spoke his (brilliant) mind. While the other contributes (via his brilliant mind) to meaningful problem solving.  The contrast is a lesson in emotional intelligence.

To bring order to chaos, channel anxiety to productive actions, we especially need leaders who are able to balance emotions and rational thought.

If we’ve learnt anything from how similar epidemics played out in the past, we know that there’s no going back to ‘before’.

We will come out the other end with a new normal – be it the face of supply chain, business continuity, travels, remote working, healthcare infrastructure etc.  Those who are busy reacting without re-evaluating their frame of decision making – are likely to find themselves having to play catch up before 2020 ends.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working with our clients to come up with alternative plans to their offsites, kick-offs, workshops.  Some of our engagements have been converted from in-person to:

  • online, live workshops
  • mobile, on-demand learning
  • video coaching
  • virtual roundtables

We are blessed with access to technology, powerful tools for continuous value creation.

However, being in some of these closed-door discussions, I find it fascinating the myriad of topics that are exposed by this global epidemic, including:

  • trust
  • leadership
  • business continuity
  • risk management
  • culture/transparency
  • the definition of mobility (mobility of work is far greater than physical mobility)
  • capacity planning (from type of roles to the location of these roles)

We see fear and insecurities creep through.  And, also kindness and compassion.

I’m humbled by the stories of selfless acts by frontline medical workers.  And so grateful to live in a country with world-class infrastructure and government doing an excellent job handling the situation.

The least I can do is to continue to show up each day, together with my incredible team, do our best work to serve.  If there’s anything at all we can support you & your team during this time, please, do reach out.


“We are only as strong as we are united,
as weak as we are divided.”
– J.K. Rowling

About Jacinta Quah

An Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker and Well-being Advocate, Jacinta helps leaders move successfully from fatigue and burnout, to peak productivity and energy, maximizing their performance and potential.  

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