Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Remote work is a huge adjustment for many people, especially in these difficult times. Erin Joy, founder and CEO of Black Dress Circle, shares tips for adjusting to this new normal, the importance of staying communicative and open — mentally and emotionally — and how this pandemic can be an opportunity to focus on the long game.
Read the transcript of Joy’s interview below:
I have been working remotely with some team members for several years, and a lot of people have, so for some of us, this work from home idea is really not all that different for us, and for others, it’s completely different and folks are really struggling. There are some things that have changed about how we’re working together. My leadership style has shifted with my team members to be more authoritative in the early phase of this pandemic. So I have sent, for example yesterday, an email, different emails to multiple team members with just a numbered list of exactly what I want them to do. I’m using some team members to do things that they wouldn’t have normally done, things that maybe I as a leader would take time to do myself. I am just delegating in a very direct manner. I need you to do this and this and this.
We’re having more communication right now. We’re having different communication right now. It’s really critical that we are not alone and that we’re not feeling alone, that we’re not isolating ourselves mentally, emotionally. And so if you’re as a leader feeling down in the dumps and you get on a Zoom call or you hear someone’s voice and you can see them and they are optimistic, they’re upbeat, they’re in action, that emotion is contagious to you. So that’s a critical thing about this time that we’re in: It’s not just the virus that’s contagious. Our moods and our emotions are contagious.
I would encourage chief learning officers to be embracing a long game right now, to simultaneously be dealing with the immediate term while they’re thinking really deeply about what their role is going to look like in six months, in 18 months, in 36 months, in 60 months. We have the opportunity to take a much longer view. And so I would just encourage people to embrace this entirely new normal. And to create! To create what does learning look like in their organization – in a year, in two years, in three years, in five years. Because it’s not going to look like it has over the last five years.