In this compelling interview, Oprah Winfrey speaks with Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist leader and peace activist, on a variety of subjects including his upbringing, work with Martin Luther King, Jr., mindfulness, and listening with compassion.
The video is 20 minutes long, but worth your time. Much of what he shares is highly relevant to compassionate leadership in the midst of a crisis.
And if you haven’t yet read Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Art of Living, I highly recommend it.
As of July 2019, Millennials have overtaken Boomers as the nation’s largest generation, according to Pew Research Center. According to me, this means Gen Xers get screwed again. I’m joking, of course, but this is cause for some rethinking.
The always smaller, hardly noticed, trying to find its place in the pecking order, generation continues to be so – but now, well, older. Gen Xers spent their first 20 years in the workforce taking cues from Boomers. They’ve spent the following years trying to unlearn what Boomers taught and figure out Millennials. The result, a neck ache or one lower down the anatomy.
Once the youngest guy at the table ambitiously striving to get ahead, within what seemed like a blink, I was an experienced leader adapting to a new order. You better believe modeling my behaviors after my Boomer bosses would not only fail, but likely get me reprimanded.
To be serious, my concern is that the current COVID-19 situation will make things more difficult for Gen Xers at work. Why? First, because technology native to Millennials is replacing the shared space that many Gen Xers have preferred. Second, and more importantly, because adapting to the post-crisis will be new to everyone and some may ask, if that’s the case, why not look through fresh eyes rather than ones wearing +2.00… Read the rest and share
In his piece, Tasler addresses the “salience network” of the brain which is designed to make sense out of disorientation. Using its innate powers of compensation, the pandemic has, he says, triggered our brains to turn on a creativity superpower.
It makes sense. We know the brain does all sorts of tricks to keep us sane. That this would manifest in extreme circumstances as unique creativity does not seem like too much of a leap.
What does this actually mean for us? For Tasler it meant taking risks and redefining his career during an earlier period of isolation. For me, it means starting this blog, taking some classes, and embarking on some new projects.
But there are other impacts. Consider the disruption of a family dynamic. Perhaps both Mom and Dad are essential workers and Grandpa or a neighbor steps in to assist with the kids. Clearly an opportunity exists for creativity compensation in how the family operates, the community pitches in, or household roles are defined.… Read the rest and share
Since I wrote Bad Actors Exploiting the COVID-19 Crisis Need to Stop, I’ve heard even more about companies treating their employees poorly as they’ve been implementing furloughs or lay offs. They are not sharing news in an honest and humane way. To offer context, generally these are loyal employees with many years of service in white-collar jobs.
The most common points include seemingly random selections, little or no communication, and leaders hiding behind decisions or blaming others. This trend is addressed in a set of recent articles strongly recommending that companies treat people fairly.
“My main message is this: how you treat your people during this crisis will establish your reputation for years to come. The business world is no longer well-served by stiff, overly massaged corporate messaging delivered by leaders who stand apart from their teams. What we need are leaders who work side by side with their people, who share tough news with compassion and empathy, and who make transparency their top priority. We need leaders to be real people, unafraid of showing their humanity.… Read the rest and share
A classmate of mine recently shared her observation that remote working has deepened workplace connections. Although this is counter to what one used to the traditional work setup might think, I agree with her.
There are at least two reasons for this.
First, we’re all in this together. Like it or not, we share a bond formed by the challenges of this utterly unique time in history. The youngest among us will be reminiscing about COVID-19 until their great- grandchild rolls their eyes and tunes them out circa 2120.
Second, we’re at home. It’s hard not to be more relaxed when you’re at home. Clearly there’s more freedom to move around and check in on the refrigerator, for example. It’s also harder to remain formally business-like when you’re sitting in your living room and a child screams. We’re not only working together but we’re living together. There’s a difference.
There’s a lot to like about this. When they first emerged, I was hugely enthusiastic about social media, online 3D, and virtual reality. What excited me most was the way these environments could bridge physical distance in a global community. Chatting with a person in China could be ‘as if’ in person using one of these new technologies.… Read the rest and share