When we had another Omicron surge rising at the start of this year, my 19-month old daughter was watching “Frozen 2: Into the Unknown” and I shuddered with the parallelism that we are in this movie. I never thought that the movie would help give perspective to what we are currently experiencing.
It has been almost 2years since the pandemic started. I look back and stumbled upon a reflection that I have written in 2020, when it all began. I realized how much I have grown as a leader and how the pandemic left me battle scars. I honor the journey. Allow me to share what I have written back then:
“In only the first quarter of 2020 we’ve already faced a couple of end-of-the-world scenarios. In January we had to deal with the fallout of Taal's near eruption. In February, the corona virus made itself known and today we are faced with the seemingly exponential rise in CoVID patient infections. With any potential vaccine still far off on the horizon, it feels there is little hope left, if any at all.
What amazes me, as the potency of the “panic-high” subsides and fluctuates, we see businesses respond likewise. Instead of fear, I observed companies embrace reality and do the best course of action. Emergency meetings are being conducted in order to discuss business community plans. Work arrangements are being explored. Business models are shifting. Office culture and meeting decorum are changing with none facial contact and online platforms. Things are happening fast and everyone has to respond because in a crisis what else is there to do but the next “right” thing.
Challenges arise when there is an unclear common “right” thing within an organization. Who determines what is “right”? Just like the first movie, we were all just Frozen and we were able to thaw when we learned how to “Let it Go” and adapt and flow to the changes.
And now, we are in “Frozen2: Into the Unknown”.. into the unknown indeed. A verse in one of the Frozen Songs rings in my head:
"This grief has a gravity, it pulls me down
But a tiny voice whispers in my mind
You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on And do the next right thing...
Can there be a day beyond this night?"
I sometimes wonder, when will this all end? How will this all end?
Just like Princess Anna in Frozen, who in the movie, faced seemingly insurmountable odds, we, too, face the same: a local shortage of testing kits, people hoarding masks and medical supplies and a never ending stream of new cases. Similar with the seaming demise of Queen Elsa, the Philippine business community is faced with unprecedent crisis never seen before.
I ponder on what COVID-19 will mean as I hold my daughter’s hand and we hum together the song, while accepting the need to grieve, encourages us to continue on to keep on moving to do the next right thing against all odds. Take one step and another and another until you see the light....TOGETHER....Into the Unknown.”
In a previous post in our culture building series (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/anatomy-culture-conscious-alchemy/?trackingId=IoZHJUU8RDb2I%2BFfgEGVIA%3D%3D), we discussed the anatomy of culture. When the question on what is the next “right” thing to do, as a leader, we need to embody this in our mindset, language, and choices AND also, co-create it with our team members.
Leadership drives the connection and alignment of the macro culture and the micro subcultures, and the values and principles of the organization is translatable and measurable with concrete behaviors & communication.
Just like in Frozen series, each character played on their strengths and worked interdependently together to transcend their challenges. We need challenges and crisis to bridge and create breakthroughs. Otherwise, we will not innovate, evolve, and grow.
There will always be moments when we will be frozen and if we really think about it, the future is always “unknown”. We just need to ground ourselves in our present moment and do the best we can here and now. Choices, chances, and changes are constant so let’s invite others to dialogue and clarify what is important to us (values),assess if our values are aligned to principles, & rank them so when the next challenge comes, we know what to prioritize too. And we keep on refining the culture that we build.
The journey continues. I, a leader at the Workplace as a manager, a leader in my Home as a mother, a friend, a daughter, and the leader of myself(You). That’s my big WHY. As we dive into the unknown, I choose to live and be at the present moment.
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