They don't call it Novel for nothing...
CEO / Founder of Monuments of Cycling
"Don't know much about biology... but I do know..."
A couple years ago, three other riders and I left the start line of the infamous Race Across the West (RAW) leaving Oceanside, CA en route to Durango, CO, which was some 930-miles away (with lots of climbing between). Our goal was simple: Set the course record so that no other team would ever beat it (and make us do this dreadful thing again).
The course is heinous with mountains, headwinds, wrong turns, dangerous roads and midnight crack heads assailing out of the bushes. You ride day and night as fast as you can, and if you've never done the route before you never really know if the hill in front of you is going to be a mountain; especially at 2am when you are already 'seeing' Aztec Temples and mailboxes that move like Gumby doing the Robot. Our inclination when encountering a hill is to hit it hard, get it over with, and inflict more damag
e to those chasing. While our approach to a mountain is to be steadfast, earnest and true to the sustained effort that lies on the other side of the crest. In this race, for me, each climb, whether short or long, was Novel; they were new to me.
This whole Novel Coronavirus we are all experiencing now is, literally, NEW to us. We don't know what will happen next, because there is no road map; it's Novel. We do know, metaphorically, that this is a long climb. It's not a hill. It's a mountain with no recognizable summit on the horizon (even though there is one). And with that mind, while uncertainty is the most certain thing we own, don't you think we should all settle in for the long effort, rather than fight these forces that are both Novel and outside our ability to affect? Shouldn't we be planning for the other side of it all by responding as efficiently, practically and conscientiously as we can to these Novel circumstances now?
To use another metaphor, why not "Go with the flow." If we don't fight this wave and rather let its power guide us, we save our psychic and physical energy for when we need it. Perhaps more importantly, in taking this approach we remove the victim mentality that seems to be so easy for some to clamber onto and paddle to the safety of cowardly cove.
I've now read so many messages from CEOs who trumpet these lines of "ME, ME, ME, US, US, US," asking everyone to take a look at them, to help them. In the stead of these egocentric pleas for recognition and charity, I think the real leaders of this Novel era should be trying something new. First, they should try recognizing that everyone else is on this mountain; that WE are freaked out, out of work or going to lose our income and have an increasing anxiety about OUR future. Second, leaders should be pointing out with gratitude how incredibly inspired they are by the selfless healthcare professionals around the world who are on the front lines working tirelessly to tend to those in need. Third, they should do everything they can to inspire others to "Go with the flow" and follow all the recommended steps to ensure that the Covid-19 disease doesn't spread. You know who I'm talking about.
Only after leaders have taken these steps to recognize, thank and inspire, should they be asking people to help with their businesses (if they ever do get to this).
It's my bet, on the other side of this mountain we've just begun to climb, people will remember and recognize the leaders and brands who reached their hand out to give rather than to receive.
Wouldn't that be Novel?