Bill Palisano, President of Lincoln Archives!... Scroll down to learn more...
From Lincoln Archives President, Bill Palisano
2020 - What a year...
Whoever would have predicted all the events we’d be dealing with? From the onset of COVID, to the riots and demonstrations, and finally the election. Unprecedented in my adult lifetime.
How do you lead a team (of “kids” really) through such tumultuous waters? Although I went to school for business management, ‘grew up’ in a solid 4th generation family business, was trained by hard core managers, and taught by a successful mentor (my dad), I had no formal training for 2020. Sure, since the mid 90’s we’ve had a living Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”). That’s a big part of our business – being prepared; and helping our clients be prepared. The Plan covers Riots & Insurrections and even addresses ‘Pandemics’. Each year, as I reviewed it for updates, I always looked at the ‘Pandemic’ section and wondered: if a real pandemic ever hit, what would it be like, and how would we ‘really’ operate and get through it?
Well, it happened. How have we gotten through it (so far)? We went back to basics. First, basics of being a human being: Make sure EVERYONE we care about (family, friends, team members) is okay. Once that’s established – what do we need to help them stay okay? Do whatever it takes.
Next, basics of being a good business owner, actually a good family business owner: Focus on the team. They’re our ‘working family’. Some struggle more than others with stress like this. Cut them some slack; we have NO idea what they’re going through at home or how their loved ones are being affected. Take more time to see how they’re doing. Ask them. And really listen. Take any opportunity to for light hardheartedness, goof around a bit: laugh. I can always gauge the health of my company by how much laughter I hear in the office. Periodically, throughout the Pandemic, when I could ‘feel’ the stress, worry and concern (when the office was ‘too quiet’), I’d bring my dogs in. Dogs just make everything better. And they did. (My first job was working in one of the businesses where there was no joy. The GM made money for the family but was a bastard to work for. I hated it. I vowed that I would not work in or run a business like that). Hence, the ‘laughter factor’ is an important ‘KPI’ that I follow. No matter what’s happening, take a pause to be silly and laugh.
Lastly, we practice OPTIMISM. Things may be tough, but things could always be worse. Appreciate ‘the good stuff’ in your life. Every person in your life needs you to be positive and strong. No matter what. People that survive (and thrive) believe that they will survive (and thrive).
Now, close your eyes, picture raising a glass (or mug), whether it’s water, a cocktail, a beer, coffee, whatever:
"This is the lesson: never give in,
Never give in, Never, Never, Never, Never-in nothing,
Great or small, Large or petty-
Never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
"Here’s to surviving 2020 as well as we did. Let’s close the book on it. Now let’s look forward to making 2021 a way better year. Way better."
William T. Palisano
Lincoln Archives, Inc. / LACyber
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