What’s it all about Alfie?

We’re already seeing how the Coronavirus is bringing out the best in some people and the worst in others. That’s normal. When people react negatively to any massive change it’s usually based on their fears; the what if’s; the why me’s and feelings of being out of ‘control’.

In previous articles I’ve talked about the 4 stages of grief – and during this pandemic we will go through these phases just like any other shock that hits our lives. Know that they are not linear – you can go through them in an hour and back to the beginning again, it feels a bit like being in a washing machine:

1. Denial: I can’t believe this is happening. How did this happen? ‘They’ should do something about this, it isn’t right.
2. Resistance and blame: Why me? Why now? It’s just not fair. This is all Jacinda’s fault (or whoever is the leader of your country).
3. Exploration: Well if I have to be in lock down then how can I use my time productively?
4. Acceptance: ‘S*%t’ happens, how can I use this time to think through my ‘what next’, because one day it WILL be over and I don’t want to have wasted this time?

I pondered all the good I believe will come out of this situation. I’m not negating the bad. I know there will be a vast amount of job loss; I know some businesses will go to the wall; I know some families will struggle financially – and for all of that I am really sad.

Whenever s*%t happens in my life, I remember my Gran saying ‘what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.’ She should know, she survived the Great Depression, two world wars and breast cancer in the 1950s when medical treatments were pretty basic. 

So I hope you‘ve decided that you are not going to let a little thing like a couple of weeks (or however long it takes) stuck at home to crush you. Hopefully you will use the time to catch up on some sleep; to read a few good books, to have a walk every day and to use the time to have a good old ‘think’. 

These are the good things I think will come out of this pandemic.We will finally value the contribution made by medical staff; hospital workers and all those essential workers looking us after us while we sit in the comfort of our homes. Most of these people are either on on a bare minimum wage OR are paid very poorly for what they do.Less cars on the road will massively improve air quality.

No recreational fishermen out there so fish stocks will get a chance to rejuvenate.More people working from home permanently or semi permanently once businesses re-open and realise the cost savings of office space.

The massive benefits to staff from working from home and not spending 2-3 hours a day stuck in traffic.

More meetings being held by zoom permanently which will make the meetings quicker and more focused – no waffling allowed!

This lock-down has hopefully shown ALL businesses the need to have an ’emergency plan’ for the next time something like this happens and there will be a next time.

More businesses will use the time to create an ‘online’ sales funnel which will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More innovation for when businesses reopen.More kindness and humour online as people find ways to have a chuckle throughout the days and weeks.

I asked a couple of colleagues from one of my FB groups what they thought would come out of the lock down:

From Petrina:
Businesses will learn the value of their people – and their people ARE their business.Time will be valued more.We will appreciate the human touch and that it is essential for the soul.

From Amanda:
* A thoughtful considered rethink of our whole social and economic structures… the big ideas that hold everything together (its a jungle and doesn’t need to be).
* Investment in entrepreneurial problem solving for start ups.
* A basic universal minimum wage.
* Investment in education and health.
*The armed services dropping the arms and becoming ‘The Services’ as the need for big rapid responses grows.
* More problem solving technology and people thinking bigger
* Rethinking how we raise baby humans as we ‘get’ the value for individuals and societies that follows humans growing in secure loving environments (stay at home parenting wages as an investment in national health and wellbeing)…
* NZ leading the way with other relatively progressive countries that see diversity as strength – global leadership


We must not go back to the way we’ve always done things otherwise the entire process will have been a waste of time. Remember Einstein said something like ‘we will never solve problems with the same thinking we used to create them’ and make no mistake this virus is a human generated problem. Somewhere along the way we lost the plot of what matters – profits have taken over so many aspects of humanity and we are now paying the price.

One of the quotes I have on my office wall is there because I’ve made my fair share of dumb mistakes and every time I stuff up; every time I go through the denial etc phases; every time I fall into the pity party and want to find someone else to blame, I always come back to this:

‘When you have come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step out into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly.’
– Elizabeth Kubler Ross

We humans MUST decide what we want our future to be – this virus is our wake -up call!

Ann Andrews CSP
Speaker, author, profiler, Life Member NSANZ
Ann is the author of:
Lessons in leadership: 50 ways to avoid falling into the ‘Trump’ trap
Leaders Behaving Badly: What happens when ordinary people show up, stand up and speak up
My Dear Franchisees

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