Leadership and Life Lessons Learned In a Pandemic – My Offer of Service

When lamenting unforeseen and adverse events, my momma Michelli was prone to say, “I would never wish this on anyone, but now that it’s here, what are we to do?”

Not surprisingly, during the past week, my mind has searched for “momisms,” “dadisms,” and the wisdom of the ages, to cope with uncertainty like none I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Leveraging off my mom’s aforementioned phrase, I’ve been reflecting on this question – what can we learn and do in the face of this Pandemic?

Here are a few insights surfacing for me:

  • For all past fears of technology displacing human service delivery, I’m grateful for virtual platforms that enable us to connect with loved ones and clients.
  • I’ve taken for granted the joys of direct social interaction – handshakes, hugs, unrestricted mobility, and being in close proximity with others.
  • Dad was right when he encouraged me to plan for rainy days, particularly when he added his unwavering message to serve those less fortunate. Dad was quick to point out there are a lot of people less fortunate and led his service message with actions.
  • When life gives you a moment to pause – welcome it. Re-evaluate all the auto-pilot activities, seek connection through the best means possible, and do the meaningful things for which you were previously too busy.

That’s my quick shortlist. I would love to hear yours. In the spirit of re-evaluation, we will be discontinuing our infographics each week and will instead explore short videos to supplement my blog posts and podcasts.

On the topic of being of service, I will be setting aside time each day to provide complimentary coaching/counseling. As someone who is blessed to coach Fortune 500 leaders, I am in a position to give a portion of my time to those who might need practical and emotional support in their business decision-making. This service will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be arranged here. Since I expect the need will likely far exceed my capacity, I am encouraging other consultants, coaches, and counselors to consider something similar.

I’m asking everyone reading this to look for ways to be of service to others (remotely or otherwise). In the words of Margaret Cho, “If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love’s reach.”

I also hope that as you act or observe others acting in “surprisingly kind” ways over the days and weeks ahead, you’ll consider sharing those stories via the website surprisinglykind.com and by using the #surprisinglykind. I’d love to see those stories serve as an inspiration to exponentially fuel similar actions.

One last message from Momma Michelli, “Fear is normal – denial, paralysis, and positive actions (however) are choices we can make in the face of fear.” Which will you choose?

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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