In light of COVID-19, I wanted to share a few things that are top of mind for me as a business leader. First, I am reminded of the resilience I’ve watched my team, along with the rest of America, possess through challenges we’ve faced in the past. From years ago as a young entrepreneur during 9/11, to the tornadoes that ripped through Nashville just weeks ago, we’ve come out on the other side with greater empathy and strength than we had before. I can remember being at the Speak Creative office on that terrible day in 2001 and turning on the TV to see the destruction. I didn’t have the answers, and it was tough to find the right words, much like the time we live in now.
As I gathered my team on a Zoom call Tuesday morning, I realized I have employees that have been with me since the beginning and an employee that started Monday. However, right now we all need to hear the same thing — we will navigate this together. And here’s how:
We’ll be compassionate.
It’s times like these that remind us of our priorities. While we work to go above and beyond as partners and employees, we’ll remember that we are humans first. We’ll scoop our children into our laps as we answer emails, we’ll grocery shop for our grandparents, and we’ll call our moms just to say hello.
We’ll be creative.
Digital is now more important than ever, and we’re partnering with our clients across the country to help them find new ways to connect with their audiences. My team has already blown me away in their ability to respond to the needs they see. They’re brainstorming creative ways for our cultural attraction clients to engage their audience via social media, preparing practical tips for live streaming, and more. Additionally, our clients are continuing to inspire us with the innovative ways they are reaching their audiences. While we’ve always offered remote work, the new environments and constraints are pushing us all to create something new. When the dust settles I have no doubt we’ll be proud of our ability to adapt to change.
We’ll be leaders.
We always look for leadership when hiring someone to the Speak Creative team. Not necessarily someone who has all the answers, but someone who will navigate towards our common goal. Peter Drucker once said, "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing." It is my belief that my team will continue to be leaders both in their work and in their personal lives, doing the right thing above all else. It is also my hope that as their leader, I will be an example of this.
To my fellow business leaders, take heart while we work to care for our teams. Many of you have undoubtedly delivered similar messages over the past few days. If not, your team needs to hear from you. There is no better time to live your organization’s values.
To my community both near and far, don’t hesitate to reach out if there is any way I may be able to serve you. We’re putting together resources that will live here on the Speak Creative website that should help equip your organization in the days to come. We may not know what’s next but of this I’m sure: there will be a next. A next project, a next partner, a next hire, a next idea, a next challenge. We’ll navigate it all together.
Your friend and neighbor,