I know it’s different everywhere in the world, so you either might not quite be there yet, or you might’ve already see this particular milestone getting smaller in your rear-view mirror. For us, we’re now halfway through week 4 of self-isolation-cum-lockdown, and I can tell you that the hyperactivity, boredom and general misbehavior on the younger side of the household are hitting a fever-pitch. The case in point was this morning at breakfast when my 5 yo son tried to explain to me that his bad behavior was because he didn’t have anything to do.
Obviously, this clearly isn’t the case, but I can understand how that might seem like it to a highly social 5 yo who seems to only be able to last 2 minutes with his younger sister before someone’s hitting, shouting or crying…
…which is naturally putting pressure on the professional side of things to keep ticking along. For example, while simultaneously writing this email and negotiating a contract, I was consulted for my opinion regarding the proper technique to roll out shortbread biscuits by my very excited children who wanted to show how they were helping Mommy—despite having established the “red/green” post-it system for the office door in a marginally-successful attempt at physical access control.
No. It doesn’t lock—at least from this side.
And, I know that we’re luckier than some.
We’re all healthy.
We have food in the pantry and fridge.
We have a garden (that’s a yard in the US, not a place to grow vegetables, although it’s been raining the last couple of days, so it’s not been used much).
The kids do have school activities to do, and their teachers are pretty engaged.
And, so far at least, my wife and I aren’t ready to file for divorce like a lot of confined couples seem to be choosing to do right now.
Theoretically, #lockdownSA will be ending on the 16th, in just over another week. However, based on the situation here and the primary demographics, I think this option is probably unlikely. So, even the promised “light at the end of the tunnel” has been extinguished for us, at least temporarily, giving a bit of an upper-cut to an already battered household morale.
So, while things currently have the appearance of a stable, “new normal”…I suspect that much more is yet to come—both from the perspective of the individual impact of COVID-19, as well as for the organizational side.
I’ve talked to some people who are now looking at frozen budgets and cancelled programs that were previously agreed, but on the other hand, I’ve also talked to people who are continuing to execute their planned investments because they work in industries that are less directly impacted, and they have the confidence and mindset to be focusing on the future…
…at the same time as dealing with the crises of the present.
Given some of the shifts in some pretty big organizations making the general and niche industry news, my guess is that if your security program has managed to find a new equilibrium for the moment, the new tornado is just around the corner…
…ready to carry you off and shift your focus.
In the end, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, as they say, and I’m certainly not in an informed enough position of exactly what you face to give you any specific suggestions.
However, what I’d like to do is offer a bit of general advice that I’ve been giving this week to a number of the people I’m working with as part of the Effective Security Leadership program during our regular weekly calls. And that advice is:
React as fast as you must, and don’t forget to breathe. Just remember that in many cases, you don’t actually need to react as fast as you initially think you do, because if you move too fast, you might be creating problems that’ll only come back to haunt you later. It’s that deliberate action of remembering to take a breath – and forcing your brain to shift from Fast Thinking into Slow thinking, even if it’s just for a minute – that helps keep you calm under pressure.
Unless, of course, you’re being chased by a tiger. In that case, and by all means…
And, don’t try and stare it down, shout at it aggressively or punch it on the nose—you’ll only piss it off.
Face it, make yourself as big as possible, back away slowly until you can’t see it any more, and THEN high-tail it outta there!
So, in fact, it’s really no different than any other crisis. Avoiding your natural instincts and being able to control your fight-or-flight response is really the best way to come out of it ahead.
In the event you want some help finding your own balance on the current (and future) roller-coaster we’re all riding, feel free to reach out using the link below—or you can even just hit reply to the email. Whatever works for you.
Andrew S. Townley
Archistry Chief Executive