Conversations for Covid times: how are leaders doing?
In recent months, discussions with our Spark clients have taken on many dimensions that reflect our complex Covid times.
To understand in more detail how people are managing, we decided to ask them directly.
With intent to spark the conversation, we connected with senior leaders representing different industries and spanning both B2B and B2C businesses.
These leaders work in advertising, and in technology. They work in management consulting, and in insurance. They work in investment management, banking and data analytics.
They are presidents and CEOs. They are chief marketing officers and SVPs. They are vice-presidents and directors.
All are thoughtful and inspiring individuals, fully capable of exploring any aspect of their business.
Except that their business was only part of what we wanted to ask about.
And, in turn, only part of what they really wanted to talk about.
In our Covid Conversations, we started by asking about greatest challenges these leaders have faced in recent months – of any kind, not just focused on offices or companies.
Along with the challenges, we asked about what, out of everything that has transpired in these pandemic days, has been most helpful to them on a profoundly personal level.
We asked about the things they are looking forward to having back.
We asked about the very best things their companies have done.
And we asked about which of our new realities are the ones most likely to stay; lasting changes, here for the long run.
Our discussions with leaders provided a wealth of insight into the ways they are keeping their worlds moving forward, and we look forward to sharing this shortly in future articles.
What truly struck us, though, was the intensity of the response.
We had people whose calendars are typically solid for months jump at the chance to speak with us immediately.
We had senior leaders at a loss for words, in tears just trying to speak about all that has gone on.
We heard, in short, not simply answers. We heard stories; waiting, just below the surface.
All that was needed was a few questions to unlock them.