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Successful Re-Entry After Pandemic



We have all watched a spacecraft being launched into orbit. Exciting times to say the least, after exploration in space the normalcy settles and calm resides. Just as we relax, preparation for reentry begins. If you are not careful, re-entry can be disastrous.

How to successfully navigate corporate reentry maybe your current focus. If it is not, you may want to think again.

As a leader, it is your job to be looking forward not down. Similar to soccer, look where you want the ball to go, not where it is. COVID challenged us all in many ways and it is you who will pull your team together and determine if the last 24 months were an opportunity for growth and innovation or if everyone just licks their wounds and avoids the pain.

I am sure you are tired but it is now that people are looking for direction, clarity, and vision. More than ever, you are holding the keys to the future state of your team.

More than once I have heard leaders lament the fact that they and everyone are tired, understaffed, and depleted. They use those words to set the tone of meetings and reasoning for why progress is not being made. Can you imagine how that feels to your colleagues?

As a spacecraft returns to earth, they say “reentering earth is all about attitude control”. While this phrase refers to something different it is a great reminder that reentry is not all about technique and process.

Attitude is what drives success.

  • The shifting climate requires honest dialogue. Discuss how people are feeling, identify barriers as they arise, and capitalize on learnings.

  • Paint a picture of hope. Acknowledge the difficult times but simultaneously highlight the future state and your drive and support for excellence.

  • Admit what you don’t know but don’t use that as an excuse not to move forward.

  • COVID can no longer be the excuse for low staff, poor retention, and missed targets. I would argue these things are now a result of a lack of creativity, innovation, and leadership. Have you stayed nimble and flexible enough throughout the process to adapt to change? Have you integrated technology in ways that created a culture of learning and connection? Have you harnessed the creative possibilities that others have offered? Are you open to change and adaptability?

If you have said “yes” to these questions, you are most likely in the camp of organizations that have survived and even thrived during this time. It is these characteristics that will serve your company and your leadership.

My Challenge to You:

  • Recognizing this phase requires new skills. Empower yourself with the support of colleagues, trusted advisors, a coach, or a mastermind group. Enlist the wisdom of others to find success.

  • Attitude adjustment. If you find yourself making excuses ask yourself what is behind the attitude. Fear, exhaustion, lack of creativity? Hone in on what is driving the comment and tackle that first.

  • Come out from behind the desk. Your team needs you, your physicality, your voice, and your presence. Become visible and become part of the team. This small act will speak wonders.

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