The weeks of the 2020 global pandemic have evolved into months, and business leaders everywhere are rewriting their plans for the rest of this year and beyond. As Liz Ortenburger, CEO of SafeNest, continued her conversation with Kristi Atwater and me for our Hey, Boss Lady podcast, we got around to the question of personal leadership challenges.
I asked where Liz thought her leadership skills were being stretched. Watch this short clip of the conversation to see and feel her sincerity, and hear how she uses:
- Self-Awareness. The self-care and personal-care statement: I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me, has never been clearer.
- Exercise. No matter how much your schedule has changed, make sure you are finding time to build in your exercise and physical activity program.
- Mind Candy. If you usually multitask during your exercise time and listen to a piece of business-related or technical information, stop it.
Let me be as clear as possible on this last point. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 or the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) as I am of my business and life, during this unique period of time, you need a break. Let me say that again, YOU NEED A BREAK. Your mind needs a break. Your spirit needs a break. I suggest you fill it with mind candy. Mind candy is any version of listening pleasure from music to books to YouTube pieces that make you smile. The following is a fun reading/listening list designed to let your mind forget the current state of affairs and give you a chance to daydream a bit:
Okay, okay so there is a bit of theme – love, sex, money, glamor – with a little bit of 100-year-old wisdom thrown in to see how much of what is old is new again.
May your daydreams be filled with love.
Background on Hey, Boss Lady
How The Boss Ladies of the Pandemic Came to Life
Think back 60 days. What were you doing and what were your plans for the rest of March, 2020? Think of the words you were using the most. Some that come to mind for me are ‘presentations’, ‘programs’ and ‘political campaigns’. On or about March 11, 2020, however, my words began to change. Without realizing it, words such as, ‘pandemic’, ‘shelter-in-place’, ‘economic implications’, ‘recession’, ‘unemployment’, ‘furlough’ seemed to fit their way into every other sentence.
When the conversational dust began to settle, it was time to see what could be resurrected from the plans I had made. One 2020 project that I knew I wanted to see stay alive was a new podcast, Hey, Boss Lady. HBL is a collaborative effort between myself and my co-host, Kristi Atwater, professionally produced by NPR producer, Sally Eisele.
When the team of Hey, Boss Lady entered the Great Pause, there were two studio-produced podcasts edited and ready, and four additional interviews scheduled for the following week. The production of the last four interviews would have completed our first series. We planned for the series to be released by mid-April. Just remembering how well thought out and solid our plan was makes me think about the line, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Fast forward to our reality check. We knew we had gathered some exceptional women with exceptional stories to tell. We did not want to cancel our plans for the podcast, and we have not. We knew we could not get back into a professional studio for a while. We also knew we wanted to tap into our guests’ knowledge and experience in the present time. We wanted to explore how they were applying everything they thought they knew about leadership to their first global pandemic (and might I add, hopefully, our last global economic shutdown). We invited many of them to engage in conversations about just that topic: Hey, boss lady what is it like to lead in a global crisis?