What do you need permission for?

Permission slip to feelRight now, we’re all anxious, concerned, stressed, and overwhelmed. Oh, and really uncertain.

In other words, highly distracted by what’s going on: the novel coronavirus pandemic.

And – if you’re anything like me and most of my clients – you’re also frustrated because of feeling un-focused, un-productive, and possibly just plain exhausted.

Give yourself permission to feel all those things without getting annoyed or impatient with yourself.

Give your team permission to feel all those things without getting annoyed or impatient with them.

No matter how much it may feel like this has been going on for-ev-er, it hasn’t. It will end, but it hasn’t yet, and won’t for a while.

It’s okay to be less productive. It’s okay for your team to be less productive.

Some things are not okay

It’s not okay to sit and spin in the doom and gloom.

It’s not okay to spread rumors.

It’s not okay to spend hours down online rabbit-holes.

It’s not okay to be SO unfocused that you make unforced, costly errors – costly in financial terms and even more importantly, in terms of trust lost with your team, co-workers, boss, friends, or family.


Set just one or two specific times of day when you check reputable headlines and news sources.

Notice the good stories as well as the horrific ones. For instance, the mere idea of Italians serenading each other from their balconies is persistently smile-worthy and uplifting for me whenever I think about it.

Take a little longer to think through what you’re doing, instead of just operating by habit or default. As I wrote recently, imagination is a key skill for any leader at any time, but especially now. We’re all stressed. Stress consumes energy and mental bandwidth. It’s way too easy to make unnecessary errors – if you don’t think through what you’re doing and why.

Celebrate the people in your neighborhood who are stepping up. The medical workers, of course, but also the delivery people. The trash collectors. The mail person. And make a practice of thanking them when you see them. From, of course, six feet away.

Remember, as I keep saying and writing: there is a Future You who knows what happens. And every day we’re getting one day closer to Future You and the other side of this.

Want a copy of the permission slip?

Snag it here. Print it out. Write your name on it. Post it where you can see it. Distribute it to your team.