April 7

Are You Panic Working?


I do hope you're taking really good care of yourself, in every respect. So much has already been written and shared about life during and after CV-19. The truth is, it's a real stretch to fully comprehend what our 'new normal' might be. With this in mind, I thought I'd share some insight into avoiding one of the rising pitfalls - that of panic working.

On another note, I'll be releasing two programmes for you later this week - the first is for you as an individual leader or entrepreneur and the second is for teams. I've put a great deal of thought into these and designed both to help you to lead effectively amidst the challenges and uncertainty we are experiencing today, and into the future. More to follow...

Are you panic working?

Despite a powerful, positive movement towards honouring the 'human-being' as well as the 'human-doing', it seems we have, in some respects, panicked and retreated back to the industrial age, focused on productivity and performance.

Asking for a friend...
If you're tempted to dismiss this, think of any aspect of your life where you, or someone you know might be knuckling down - from panic-tutoring your children as you grapple with homeschooling to panic-tidying as you Marie-Condo your home to create a semblance of order. Or how about the panic-consumption of news, needing to stay on top of what’s going on? And you may well find yourself panic-micro-managing all of your relatives and friends' approach to this pandemic to keep them safe. And what about your interactions with your colleagues, team, suppliers or business partners?

We're all, understandably, searching for a semblance of control in our lives. However, there is a high personal price to pay, especially when it comes to the stress and pressures of business-unusual.

Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor, Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD explores how our need to calm our anxiety about the open-endedness of the unknown has led to a wave of 'panic working', which can lead to burnout.
Scott Berinato, Senior Editor, HBR argues that people are experiencing a fundamental crisis of self and a real sense of loss, citing David Kessler's work on grief in an article he wrote about stress amidst CV-19: "That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief".

If any of this rings true...
I urge you to be gentle with yourself and others. Take the time you have and view it as a window into the future. As we shift from very practical 'storming' to what may feel like a perpetual state of 're-norming', we know it's all moving way too fast to get a real handle on 'performing'. If your survival driver is running wild, it's going to be really tough on you. And the people around you.

The alternative...
Is active acceptance. It is what it is. I will do what I can do.

  • I'll be agile, stay alert and unattached to each new development
  • Use the time to think deeply about what no longer serves me
  • Untether my ideas, get creative, be innovative
  • Move fast and bypass old systems and barriers
  • Look for new opportunities and possibility amidst the chaos
  • Re-imagineer my business and working life
  • Take a deep dive into who I am and work on personal growth
  • Lead effectively, help and be of service to others

This is what I have. I have this and so much more.

Last but not least, I trust you're tapping into the array of online resources that have been made available to us all. Here's one that helps me with sleep, which always gets disrupted when I am super-stressed: Surrender To The Stillness from Insight Timer. Let me know if this works for you too?


Bloomberg, Conscious Leadership, COVID-19, David Kessler, Gianpiero Petriglieri, HBR, New Normal, Panic Working, Scott Berinato, Self-Care

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