Society’s emotional and cognitive inputs have been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As I, along with you, attempt to process everything, a realization has occurred that in addition to a health and financial crisis, we are facing a crisis of value. While we ponder, strategize, and try to figure out our business and personal survival, time with family and friends, social distancing, and the financial future; we are re-assessing what we value in our lives and businesses. This is a new frontier which we must navigate through a post Coronavirus world into America 2.0.
Value has long been framed in the language of monetary worth, productivity, and output. However, as society has been forced to spend time alone and with loved ones, eliminate physical contact, and consider our very existence, the conversation around value has inexplicably expanded. Dialogue and consideration of emotions, feelings, self-reflection, and analysis of purpose can be seen across social media, heard online in meetings, and discussed amongst friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In other words, an awakening has occurred, there is more to our value than we realized.
I call this the ValueEquation®, which defines value as the sum of what we “do” plus the “impact” of what we do. However, impact is defined not just as a cognitive tangible outcome (head), but it must also account for the feelings and emotions derived from what we do (heart). Value is emerging from this crisis just as innovation will emerge, and America 2.0, leaders can no longer ignore value as a sum of the head and heart.
Mapping The New Frontier: 3 Obstacles To Overcome
In the series premiere of Inc. Magazine’s Real Talk: Business Reboot, Mark Cuban spoke of the need for leaders to communicate, be honest, and transparent in an America 2.0 which will require agility, resiliency, and the ability to adapt. Such action means that leaders must break the shackles of “top/down culture” and embrace the greater value around them. To begin this journey, here are three obstacles which must be removed:
- Admitting Vulnerability: Any pretense that everything is fine has been stripped away. Leaders worldwide from large corporations to small businesses are scrambling to find answers. Trying to hide this vulnerability will only break trust.
- Communicating Authentically: Your leadership in its truest and most honest voice must be heard now, perhaps more than ever. False empathy, needless bravado, and empty or unrealistic promises will shatter trust and silence communication.
- Connecting The Head and Heart: While the brain and its cognitive functions are highly required to navigate the agility, adaptation, and resiliency Mark Cuban referenced, it is still the heart and emotional connectivity which will fuel the people who will build America 2.0. Allowing for this within your own companies healing is a necessity.
Value is our DNA, an ever-present force that we each seek to provide and receive. One silver lining to this pandemic will hopefully be that we rediscover deeper value and meaning in our lives personally and professionally. As leaders navigate the coming future and an America 2.0, they will be required to acknowledge, implement, and steward this new definition of value more than ever before.
About Al Emerick
Al is a human GPS who turns chaos and confusion into smooth rails of communication and connectivity by helping create clarity and powerfully articulating how value shows up in business, operations, and people. An accomplished entrepreneur, communication and marketing executive leader, and brand storyteller, he has created more than 500 advertising campaigns, been a voice and on-camera spokesman in over 15K audio/video commercials and productions, and spoken educationally and inspirationally before more than a half-million people. Al consults and advises companies, organizations, and people through his unique expertise in 360-degree communication and multi-channel storytelling.