Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”

Dalai Lama XIV

Building a business is tough. It’s tough enough when things are good. It’s debilitating during a pandemic. Focus becomes blurred. The balance between fiduciary responsibility and human kindness is a fine line. I work for the shareholders. I work for the employees. I work for the customers. But if I lose my way, I become useless to them all.

Without compassion we are nothing. We cannot provide value with an empty soul. Our responsibility is the protection and safe keeping of our employees. They are the value creating machine. Without them, shareholder value becomes the punch line of a drunken joke. Tasteless, worthless, and adding no value.

Covid-19 is life altering. Furloughs, layoffs, and terminations. Children feel our fear. The worry reverberates. And without awareness of our emotions we cannot help but ooze worry. This cannot continue.

Let’s unify in compassion and giving. As business leaders, we must provide support for our teams. It is our highest priority. And that support extends to their families. Our employee’s family health is crucial to the health of our businesses. If their family isn’t stable, our business will feel the negative impact. Personal lives extend to professional lives.

Stress at home. Questionable coping skills. Excess alcohol. Arguing with the spouse. These issues come to work. Even while working from home. That makes us responsible for providing tools and support, now more than ever. Our employees, their families, need our compassion to ease the anxiety.

This is not a cost center. It’s a game changer. A value creator. And it’s a life changer. This doesn’t mean we can’t reduce expenses. But most people would prefer a pay modifications rather than a job elimination. But this means proceeding practically and compassionately.

Hold your management to the highest standards. And hold yourself to higher standards. This is about the human condition. Being your best self. And enabling your company to be the best it can be. Selfishness during Covid-19 will reap what has been sown. This isn’t about God. This is about doing the right thing for your team. And, if you do that, you will be glad to reap what you’ve sown.

Leaders must lead. Leadership means finding peace, identifying joy, and bringing value to your team. Failure to achieve those during a pandemic and your company will suffer. Your shareholders will feel the pain of executive selfishness.

We are struggling with tough decisions. We’re balancing liquidity with lives. We’re second guessing. We’re armchair quarterbacking. At least I am. And this isn’t easy. But it’s required. If ever there was a time to focus on employee health, making that the priority above profits, it is now.

The challenge is obvious. Our reactions, mixed. We can course correct at anytime. Together we are struggling, together we are learning, and together we will achieve.

Toil and pain coupled with perseverance and determination creates achievement.