By Gail Gumminger

As we approach what I trust will be an extended period of upheaval in our collective organizations, I have been fortunate to have conversations with a variety of leaders in the past several days. Their insights and perspectives have been encouraging to say the least.

What I have noticed? Overall, these leaders are more present and participating with a greater focus than before the crisis. This could be an unintended consequence of virtual meetings… or the serious magnitude of the agenda. Regardless, they communicate a strong desire to connect and work together with their teams.

Most of our conversations involve actions, updates, issues, and developments – a blend of the “to dos by whom” to address critical elements of leading people. I continue to be impressed with their pole position of people-first. One specific group of leaders were particularly unique and energetic. They are focused on intentionally having strategic conversations about preparing for the return to normal and resuming their busy day-to-day existence.

Ironically – no one knows when that will be or how it will actually look when we get “back to normal,” yet these leaders are motivated now to hold strategic conversations amid that level of darkness.

I am encouraged by these organizational leaders who are pressing to invest more into their conversations, who are looking through both their short and long-term lens, and who are seeing this period in time as an opportunity to show up, to innovate, to change, to shift and to find additional ways to thrive.