As I write this blog, the COVID-19 pandemic is finishing its eighth month. Recently the US Surgeon General was on Good Morning America. He urged everyone to abide by “the three Ws”: wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance. I thought, “Not today. I’m alone in my home, coaching by phone, helping financial advisors who are struggling to stay engaged and proactive in their business.”
On these calls, I hear advisors say the same things every day: “I didn’t think this would last so long. I’m feeling burned out and frustrated with everyone and everything. What can I do to get my attitude under control?”
A Marathon, Not a Sprint
It seems like ages ago that our firms closed their doors and we scrambled to set up home offices. We weren’t sure what challenges lay ahead, and the market took our breath away in those first intense weeks. But while we don’t like having to cope with a disaster, human beings tend to do well in a crisis and to adapt quickly to massive disruptions. Most of us rise to the occasion, get creative, work hard and push through. I continue to be impressed—though not surprised—by our industry’s resilience through the pandemic so far.
Importantly, we’re now in a different phase, when we face our biggest challenge: How do we develop the new habits and patterns that will sustain us in a long-term disruption that has no clear-cut end point? It’s one thing to react to an immediate setback; it’s another thing to galvanize the will and execute the discipline to redesign an entire business model one process at a time.
Here are three insights from the behavioral sciences that will help you stay the course, redefine your business and set yourself up for success—no matter how long this disruption lasts.