Amazing dark times.
In March 2020, the world changed beyond the realms of possibility. In just one month, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases went from 80,000 (3,000 deaths), with the majority being in China, to over a million (60.000+ deaths) across the globe. If someone has said just a few weeks ago that in one month, 95% of the world would be locked down, flights cancelled, borders closed, business hibernating and people isolated in their homes, I would have called that person insane.
We are going through highly frustrating times which will leave unprecedented economic consequences. However, it is absolutely amazing to watch how quickly many companies have adapted to the new reality and accomplished new milestones in such a short period. We have seen massive change management, rapid digitalisation, agile processes, home office being the new normal... all those business and HR concepts which have been long discussed and taught are now being implemented instantly. We even hear of some companies reporting that their productivity levels have gone up. We are witnessing high engagement and connectedness despite social isolation and business deprivation. As the saying goes, tough times truly bring people together.
The dark side of Covid-19 is far from being "just" a pandemic. It is also a massive economic, social, psychological and existential experiment. Nobody really knows how and when it will end. This is definitely a moment of truth for many companies, teams, families, couples and individuals. Will we die or will we survive?
In all this unwanted vacuum of isolation, social deprivation, limitation, boring daily routines, video conference after video conference and extra exposure to family members, I can see a certain kind of beauty - a dark beauty, called the truth. Despite wearing medical masks, all our life masks have now fallen. All our escape mechanisms have disappeared. No more workaholism, sports, bars, events. Today, we are all faced with who we are in our darkest hours. This is the point when we will discover who we really are.
So these times are a true leadership as well as a personal challenge. Perhaps Covid-19 represents the beginning of the end, perhaps the beginning of a new beginning. Which one will it be for you?