Life in the Pandemic: How We WYN Anyway!
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
by Dr. Eric Wynstin Walton
The year 2020 continues to provide full vision and insight into who we are and how we handle unplanned and imagined challenges. During this dual Pandemic of COVID-19 and civil unrest, executives have had to reimagine how they work, educate their children, live, and stay alive. For many Black executives, the twenty-twenty clarity causes us to explore avenues to stay inspired and keep our families from buckling to the enormous mental impact of the even more apparent racial injustices in our neighborhoods and work.
Here are four tips that can help you WYN from the over 100 executives that I have spoken to over the past three months.
Now is the time to understand your value. Many corporate, educational, and governmental leaders do a poor job of understanding their respective value. Natasha Bowman, JD, SPHR, advises us to "take this time to define your undeniable skills are and how they fit in the new reality. Ask yourself, where do you want to go next? What development do I need to embark on? Whom do I need to know? And, invest in coaching and counseling from coaches and sponsors who are savvy enough to understand the new reality yet seasoned enough to do the math."
Maximize the Moment
Please realize that life is not going back to the way it was, even for those who find yourself in a good place. With the right perspective, you can change your life for the better. One C-suite executive determined that it was no longer necessary for him to live in the high-rent city to lead his department. As a result, he bought a house over the weekend that was perfect for him and his family. This move reduced his 1.3-million-dollar mortgage in half. In short, smart companies realize that money is being wasted on travel, pointless meetings, and that ridiculous new "open-air" working space. There you have your most significant opportunity. Other companies trying to return to the Darren Stevens/Larry Tate years; leave them there.
This tip is perhaps the most crucial, get some help with educating your children, keeping order, and maintaining a positive growth mindset.
It's unreasonable to believe that you can teach your 5th grader, manage a billion-dollar budget, avert micro-aggressions, and maintain sanity. Just give in to the new business sector of pod teaching and specialized tutoring for your children. But before you do, check with your local educators to find our what's best for each child's demographic and personality type.
You are no longer the help.
You deserve to hire someone to keep the place pristine, despite what your parents told you. Just be sure to establish COVID-19 proof standards and do your homework.
Quoting my good friend, psychiatrist, mental health & wellness, and self-care expert,
Janet Taylor MD, MPH, "Get Help." This stuff is NOT normal, especially for Black leaders, families, and friends. Many leaders feel that the microaggression that we see on TV are played out at work and in scarcely diverse neighborhoods. We live and work in a sometimes mentally hazardous environment where the passive-aggressive knee is placed firmly on those Blacks' careers in our circle, while everyone watches and no one steps in to help. If we chronicled each time there was an unjust rating, evaluation, or promotion, we could create a new Smithsonian museum. Eighty-four percent of the aforementioned Black executives admit that seeing (a) the cases like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor play out on TV and (b) observing aggressions in their work environments can cause anxiety, depression, and increased alcohol consumption.
I guess Gil Scott Heron was wrong. The revolution will be televised! To that point, consume that news on an as-needed basis only. The bottom line is that we deserve to get the right counseling to help us in this very stressful time.
Please attach these tips to your calendar, planner, or life's strategic plan. We hope you find these suggestions helpful as you WYN in your leadership, career, and life.
Dr. Eric Wynstin Walton
Please expect to experience more expert advice from experts and thought leaders like Janet Taylor MD, MPH, Natasha Bowman, JD, SPHR, Ed Gordon, and others as LEADE360 launches our Truth in Leadership series.