In business, you tend to hear the phrases “scaling for growth” or “scaling back” quite often,
but as I’ve been in frequent, close contact with fellow business owners, I have come to the conclusion that our unique scenario calls for another type of scaling…a “new” scale. This scale emphasizes flexibility and grace. This new integration appreciates where we are and the difficult daily steps we are taking to get to where we want to be. Let’s take a look at how to put this new integration into practice.
Ask yourself and your team, “What is this trying to teach us?”
I have spoken with many business owners who own national businesses which means they have parts of their businesses in different states. All of these states have different governors and guidelines as they relate to business, and, as you can imagine, it has been challenging navigating the different guidelines for each specific state. Furthermore, many women workers who were asked to be on site for their jobs couldn’t find childcare, and as a result, they had to file for unemployment. After seeing the effects of all of this craziness, I began to ask myself questions about how this time will affect us in the future
One of the main questions I have been asking myself, my family, and my team is, “What is this trying to teach us?” This mindset will not only allow us to grow but inspire our team members and kids to approach challenges in a similar manner in the future. As leaders, we set the example for better or worse. If we see challenges as meaningless roadblocks, our team and our children will start to view them the same way. However, if we see difficulty as a catalyst for change and growth, this positive perspective will start to be reflected in our business’ culture and our home environments.
Moments of Gold
Moments of gold are those little moments every day when you experience stillness, gratitude, joy, or appreciation for your life and your people. You know those moments. The moments when your child enjoys the outdoors or (genuinely) has fun hanging out with you. Maybe it’s a peaceful moment reading your favorite book on the front porch or going for a run for the first time in a while. As a leader maybe it’s the look on your team member’s face when you tell them, “Good job.” As a team member, maybe it’s getting to say hi to the rest of your team on a Friday afternoon Zoom call.
Whatever your golden moments are, allow them to be teaching moments for your business and your soul. Let them be a reminder of the unexpected gifts of community, simple pleasures, and self-care. Although we cannot meet with many of our loved ones in person during this time, we are still able to communicate with them via the Internet and technology. We are at an interesting intersection between experiencing the largest pandemic in recent years yet having the more access to technology than in history ever before. Let us take the time to communicate with our team, loved ones, and friends on a daily basis. By embracing community (even virtually,) we are choosing to create moments of gold.
Perhaps your team members need a greater deal of flexibility because their workspace has now been infiltrated with their children, significant others, or pets, and their workflow looks different than it did in the office. Life happens. By giving your team flexibility and grace, you will be able to extend the same to yourself when you need it.
Practice flexibility by incorporating routine breaks throughout your workday and encouraging your team to do the same. When I plan out my week, I make sure to leave 10 minutes for stretching and 5 minutes to regroup each hour. I strategically include this buffer to give myself time to reset, and once I reset, I am able to come back to my work energized and ready to roll.
As we navigate this uncertain time, let’s move forward with a mindset that seeks moments of gold. May we emerge out of this pandemic more compassionate, balanced, and flexibile than when we entered self-quarantine.