“Business as usual is not an option; It’s a collective death sentence.” –Ed Gillespie
This quote stopped me in my tracks. It mirrors what comes up frequently in my conversations with senior leaders. So many feel like they are in the middle of a storm:
• The executive leading his or her company to a multi-million dollar acquisition
• The executive initiating incident management mode after a security breach
• The executive fragmented, overwhelmed and plagued by panic attacks and existential questions
Everything seems urgent, decisions have to be made with imperfect knowledge for an unknowable future, and pressure is high on executives and teams.
So, if business as usual is not an option, what are the options?
1) Do the same as usual (apparently this one is out)
2) Do nothing (head-in-the-sand policy of ignorance or denial)
3) Do things differently
What does business as un-usual look like?
It looks like the political climate worldwide requiring different solutions. It looks like the effects of capitalism and growth at all costs requiring an innovative debate. It looks like our addiction to consumption of things, information, food, substances and quick fixes requiring an enlightened approach to curb them.
Bottom line – We can’t keep making the same mistakes or keep doing the same thing expecting different results.
You might read this and think I am encouraging you to work harder at solving enormous problems. In fact I am doing the opposite.
Consider your answer to these questions:
1) What are you currently engaged in that you know you better stop?
2) What are you most frustrated about? Is it the best use of your time to fix that or is it time to let go?
3) What will it take to hit the pause button? Where is it warranted to do the opposite of what you usually do?
4) How can you challenge your own thinking of what’s most important for the ones that come after you?
5) How can you manifest what you are uniquely qualified and capable of contributing so you become who you are?
Here are some ideas that can help you go down the road of business as un-unusual:
• Buy carbon offsets for all flights you take, for business and personal travel (My carbon offsets for my round trip flights to Europe cost $40.00). Even better, do a video conference instead of flying to that next meeting.
• In all of your meetings moving forward, introduce the following question: How will the planet be impacted by the decision we are making today?
• Likewise, ask what impact your decision has on the people affected by the decision.
• Take a bigger stand! Be visible.
• Know your values and act in congruence with them.
• How can you serve your communities and society with everything you do?
Vote with your actions. Buy and consume according to what is helping you to survive, and better yet, thrive.
Watch Greta Thunberg’s video for some inspiration!