Cristina DiGiacomo, M.S.

By Cristina DiGiacomo, M.S.

CEO’s: Your Moment is NOW

CEO’s: Your Moment is NOW 150 150 Cristina DiGiacomo

In March the changing landscape of everything seemed like a rest stop on the highway. Stop, check emails, picnic, check the map, take a break from the drive and after a short rest, resume the trip on the familiar road. After 20 weeks of this road trip, we are now facing the question, where were we going in the first place, and is it still there?

The Reality Behind the Reality

A deeper reality has set in over the last month. Previously, people were adjusting their daily lives to somewhat reflect the normal that was before March. Meetings were no longer held in person but virtually, blurred backgrounds and household pets interrupted – sure –  but the agenda was still the norm.

Business wasn’t carried out as usual, but the business at hand was still being pursued from agendas created in a world that is no longer our reality. With conflicting leadership from the government and confusing protocols between federal, state and local authorities, information is disseminated through a minefield of policies, mandates, and whatever is the latest breaking news. You’re living a deeper reality than you ever imagined.

What Happens When Everything is Stripped Away

It’s a grind…

The last you checked you were running plays from a playbook handed down to you. There was someone before you who tried and succeeded or tried and failed, but at least there was a playbook. In the last four weeks, the playbook of predictive models was tossed and now you need to rely on your wits and instincts.

There is a chaotic dismantling of how things used to be run.

CEO of Chipotle, Brian Nicoll told the New York Times, “It’s a grind on the organizational psyche.” 

CEOs are expressing worry because they are facing an unknown assailant. It’s natural to fear the unknown. The speed in which everything is changing is stripping away the ability to sugarcoat and hide realities anymore. There is no longer any choice but, to be honest, and real. 

The curtain is pulled back, everything has been taken away and the only thing that’s left is transparency, honesty, and integrity. And let’s face it, these are the qualities of great leaders, so now is the time to embrace the challenge and accept that this is your moment.

You Are the Still Point in the Room

When there is no more separation between “this” and “that”, it is called the still-point. At the still point in the center of the circle, one can see the infinite in all things. ~ Chuang-tzu

Act without reacting. Taking into consideration values such as logic and compassion without the emotional reaction of a busy mind will lessen the useless noise and focus your decision-making.

Each man speaks and acts and lives according to his character. Falsehood is mean and culpable and truth is noble and worthy of praise. The man who is truthful where nothing is at stake will be still more truthful where something is at stake. ~ Artistotle

If one thing that has become apparent recently is that if you don’t work or operate from a place of truth, it’s deadly.  Meet with your people, be transparent, accept the current situation, and face it without a veneer.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters – Epictetus

When you can’t predict the future, it is useless to worry about it. You cannot control it, so spend zero energy trying to predict it. Just like you can’t control the pandemic but you can control how you react to it. Check your worry at the door. Worrying is a distraction from the matter and the work at hand. Focus on what you can control.

What to Do When You Can’t See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

  • Are you thinking about things in the right way? Are you in the center of the room able to see beyond what’s in front of you and see the entire 360-degree perspective?
  • What no longer serves the company? Since that predictive model binder is in the recycling bin, what can be tossed too?
  • What are you hanging onto? Look at everything in the most stripped-down, honest way and assess what is there and why you are keeping it?
  • Instead of worry and fear, can you reframe those thoughts to a more observant place and use logic to action?

This is a time of invention. Embrace this time as an opportunity to create and adapt in a way that six months ago was unimaginable. This is what you were made to do.  This is an evolutionary process that we are all participating in as observers or leaders.

You are a leader, your moment is NOW.