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Letter to Leaders – April 2021

Are we there yet?

We’re getting there. On the day that I’m writing this (April 3) the United States vaccinated 4 million people. Now, whether you believe in vaccines or not, this is a giant step closer to whatever-it-is it’s going to be in The New Normal. My wife and I got our first vaccines this week, and we spent the rest of the afternoon saying “Happy Vaccination Day!”



Good morning to everyone but especially to the sentence I just rewrote for the tenth time. — Susan Orlean (@susanorlean) March 23, 2021

I felt a definite sense of closure driving home after the vaccine shot.

But in the meantime…back to the wall, which many of us have hit.

Burnout is definitely here. The New York Times reports that 34% of employees feel burned out. People say they’re less productive, less engaged, and that they don’t feel as successful.

And we’re the lucky ones! We have jobs! We have our health!

Those benefits were good enough for the first twelve months, but (at least, for me) it’s not good enough for now.

I want me team around me.

I want to feel progress.

I want to stop forgetting what I was doing….all the time.

I want to regain the adrenaline when I speak in front of live audiences (trust me, it’s not the same speaking in front of a bunch of faces on my monitor, even though I love all of you).

There’s a psychological condition called Anhedonia. A noted psychologist says it’s kind of liking looking and feeling like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. The physical allegations aside, I can relate. I’ve recently been meditating twice a day, in addition to taking a 30-minute nap.

But. There are non-medical solutions, led by “do something different”. Last month, I drove to the homes of each of my employees. I got to a house, then called them, telling them I was outside. (Needless to say, they were surprised and a couple of them took quite a bit of convincing I was actually there). I gave them a gift card and thanked them for their work.

It did way more good for me than them. I hadn’t seen any of them in person for over a year. It felt good to connect—even for a couple of minutes.

We’re so close to the end. Don’t give up now.

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