General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to my 3 Vistage groups this week and the take-aways were fantastic. Well actually, it was a pre-recorded interview with Vistage CEO Sam Reese that we watched at home and discussed at the meetings. But still, the take-aways were excellent! >
I’m hearing from CEO’s and I’m hearing from senior leaders that one minute you are looking at 3 year plans and the next minute you are all hunting for a missing product in the supply chain. Or, you just finally hired an important new team player and a long time team member gives notice. It is like paddling too much on one side of the canoe and then furiously trying to get straight by paddling hard on the other side. It feels like we all have lost strategic focus. Tell me again, where are you trying to go? >
This week my Chief Executive Vistage groups got together in person for the first time in 15 months. Wow! It was so sweet. There were so many lovely side conversations before starting, during breaks and sometimes during the meeting as people reconnected or met for the first time. >
Has anyone studied the actual uses of the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans/forgiveness?
Because the pandemic totally devastated approximately 20% of the economy in sectors like travel, events, hotels and dining, it is hard to imagine how these industries have survived, or how the PPP money could have helped them for long. If they are still surviving, they are maybe 1/3 the size they had been before the pandemic. For them it has been tragic. Hopefully, they will come back as the economy reopens. >
My new Vistage Member looked uncomfortable, well maybe downright unhappy. I was a brand new Vistage Chair and a little uncertain. I put down my notebook and just looked her in the eye and asked, “What’s wrong? You look pretty unhappy.” She sighed deeply. >
As the first year of Covid closes, what have we learned? What will we do again when the pandemic tamps down, and what will never come back? While we have our own lived experience, what does the broader data tell us about budget allocation? >
We have been subjected to so many Covid tests, it is hard to put all of them in categories. And, I don’t mean getting that swab stuck up to my brain and down to my tonsils. Every day, Covid tests our leadership, our mindset and our health habits. >
As we hunker down in Los Angeles for month 7 with COVID getting much worse across the country, I look for inspiration. What is working? How are other countries addressing it? Why are we here, now?
The good news is that not as many people are dying per number of new Covid cases. Our amazing medical professionals and scientists are making progress there. The bad news is it feels the same as March and it’s almost October. We don’t have enough testing, we don’t have enough tracing and there is no vaccine likely before deep into 2021. Meanwhile, unemployment stays well over 10% and many companies and jobs will never come back. >
I was asked to follow up from last week’s post with more hacks for mentoring. New supervisors are often uncomfortable giving direction to those who just recently were peers. Being a first-time supervisor is probably the most difficult step in a leaders journey. So, let’s start with your mental game. >