Some-one who I greatly admire once said to me ‘whatever happens in life, walk towards rather than walk away’. At the time I had just handed in my notice to a job I loved (a promotion with a new boss, a glamorous woman, who was not only vile, callous and unfair but also completely inebriated after 11.00am which was the tipping point). The concept of walking towards, when in my mind I had done nothing but walk away, frankly didn’t compute.
The perceived lack of control is impacting all of us to a greater or lesser degree and In a wistful moment it would be tempting to want to walk away from this pandemic, the heartache, the uncertainty, the pain, the losses, the fragility of business, people’s livelihoods, the economy, disrupted educations and the inconsistent guidelines that we’re all juggling professionally and personally on a daily basis. Not to mention the serious impact on mental health and well-being. Sadly, this clearly, is not possible.
From a business perspective, the need for creativity and innovation is needed more than ever and as many of you will know first-hand and from numerous studies in the last six months, innovation and creativity in some areas has plummeted and anxiety has rocketed.
During a workshop yesterday, the brilliant Brand Director of a global corporation said ‘Energy has flatlined, we’ve all flat lined, what can we do differently? It’s exhausting’
Facilitating the session, I paused for a moment. ‘Flat line’ – the straight line indicated on a heart monitor, indicating death. That’s a very strong, but I would hazard a guess, accurate metaphor to how many people are feeling at all levels.
A rich discussion ensued about the need to stand up for what we believe in and risk-taking in what is undoubtedly an extremely risk laden environment. The energy shifted and a sparkle danced, what was also palpable was the warmth in the conversation about looking after each other to enable the creativity, dynamism and innovation to flow again.
Even on the darkest of days, walking towards is always possible. Rather than be silenced by the complainers, ITV stood up for Diversity, anti-racism and what it believed in. In large newspaper ads were the words; ‘We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ‘The power is in the moment and supporting each other.
As I was reminded last week, on a fabulous song-writing webinar (long story!) as Robert Ingersoll famously said, ‘We rise by lifting others.’
Have a great day, take control of what you can, look out for each other and choose to walk towards, it’s a little shift in your thinking pattern but might just make the biggest difference.
PS. In handing in my notice to a job I loved, an opportunity came about to travel the globe and I wouldn’t change that for the world.