Reactions to the crisis
The most important question any of us can ask right now is: 'how can I be of service?'
The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.
In this time of crisis, leaders' responses to what's been going on have been very telling. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team, said the following:
"When some of the things were coming up that we might not play games— this was yesterday — I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to support financially people who aren’t going to be able to come to work. You know, they get paid by the hour, and this was their source of income. We have already started the process of having a program in place. I don’t have any details to give, but it’s certainly important to me.
To give context to the above quote, the National Basketball Association is on hiatus. I have always admired his take on organizational dynamics. With everything going on during this period, one of his first thoughts is, will my employees survive this period? These concern were for someone that just might not show up on your org chart.
In times like these, we are all in flux as to what is next. However, some of us are in a better position than others.
These acts of kindness and concerns are what builds employee engagement and employee value proposition. I am sure he was probably not thinking of those two terms. But the end result is that this type of announcement will firm up the belief of the people that are affected and even the ones that are not: “This is why I love my company”.
Upon my research, I found that the following company's leaders have all had the same type of reaction to this crisis. They all gave back some parts, and in some cases, all their salaries to help out.
- Delta Airlines CEO gives 100% of salary
- Qantas CEO will forgo his salary for the rest of the financial year.
- Jet Blue
- Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden and president Ben Minicucci, will not draw salaries for the length of the crisis.
- United CEO and President will forgo their base salaries at least through June 30.
- Uber delivering 300K free meals to healthcare workers
The list goes on and on, and it shows that people care for each other. Let these examples of giving back inspire all of us to see how we can help people in our community, both physical and virtual.
What will be your role?
Helping and being of service to others in a positive way to counter the anxiety and negativity swirling around in the media constantly. Look around and consider how you can step up and be a leader during this challenging time for the world.
You might not able to donate like those in the listed above examples, but we all have values that we can bestow on others. Surely not like the celebrities that I have read about and the large donations they are giving.
But your role could be carved out. Who do you know that is stressed for some reason? Although you may be stressed yourself, I have found that helping takes your mind away from your struggles and put you mentally in a better place.
I had a call with an attorney friend who is having career challenges. Another is in the fashion business and trying to figure out what is next.
Last week there was a young man who moved back to his country to care for a sick parent. The list goes on and on. But each time my offering was based on how can I help this person.
Sometimes people just need an ear, someone to listen to them.
So my advice as I work from home: how can I help, how can I listen but most importantly, HOW CAN I BE OF SERVICE?
Being of service to something; a person, a group, a community, a cause or a belief means that you’ve chosen to engage without expectation of reciprocation
Hang in there everyone, and if anyone wants to chat send me an email. We can explore together.
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Ron Thomas is Managing Director, StrategyFocused Group DWC-LLC, based in Dubai.
He was formerly CEO of Great Place to Work-Gulf countries, also based in Dubai. A former CHRO who was based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ron is also a senior faculty member and representative of the Human Capital Institute [hci.org ] covering the MENA region. He...