CEO Blog



A marathon not a sprint ...

Anne Marie Forsyth
15/05/2020


Why on earth is sitting in front of a screen on Zoom or whatever platform all day so exhausting? It seems illogical compared to the ‘old days’; in my case red eye flights and often long days at industry events and meetings, working on trains, how can this be?
 
This was one of the issues discussed at the CCA Women in Leadership session yesterday, an online event replacing what should have been a discussion over lunch in London. 
 
It was a lively session, one of the most authentic and enjoyable since this lockdown started. There was a connection that reached beyond our screens. The topic was how to manage remote teams and a look at changing leadership styles throughout the pandemic. 
 
Many of us normally work at home, however the current mix of events around this is far from normal. Managing hundreds of newly remote workers who are themselves feeling the stress of isolation, and who are dealing with anxious, confused, isolated and sometimes bereaved customers is a mammoth challenge in and of itself. 
 
Add to the mix the demands of home-schooling a few lively kids, being available, looking the part and remaining in focus for endless video calls, worrying about how the company is going to fare as budgets are stretched and invoices remain unpaid, and of course those needy family members who are out of sight but certainly not out of mind. 
 
This sudden cacophony of events calls for leaders to become experts in crisis management, commercial and budgetary performance, and for a whole new level of understanding in managing the wellbeing of others. This demands a resilience and a set of rules to thrive, rather than merely survive this period of uncertainty. 
 
There were so many useful tips from the heart, I certainly took lots from the session. In particular self-care is vital, allowing yourself to blur boundaries and work 12-hour days without breaks, as many admit to doing, isn’t being kind to yourself or to anyone else. Having a routine which must include self-care is vital and a signal to others to do likewise. And of course, remember this is a marathon not a sprint. 
 
It’s been a busy week in the CCA calendar. It was always going to be a busy one with both the second Visionaries event and the biweekly sharing of operational excellence by CCA accredited members, each delivered successfully with higher levels of participation than physical sessions, a real positive to cherish as a new way of working.
 
Around 80 leaders from banking, insurance, media, outsourcing and public sector took part in really lovely sessions this week. As CCA members the learning has expanded, and as we enter week 8 there’s definitely green shoots towards understanding new ways of working that will prevail long after this pandemic is over.
 
I would like to thank everyone who took part in this week’s marathon of events, and of course all the amazing speakers who added so much, Liz Barclay Chair of CCA Standards Council, David Smith Economics editor of The Sunday Times, Aimee Chapple, Executive Officer, Capita Customer Management, Natalie Calvert as the contributor to our Women in Leadership session along with long-standing partners Poly who for over 20 years have contributed and supported the agenda.
 
To access any of the outputs or register your interest in participating in future events please register here
 
Have an enjoyable weekend everyone!
 
Anne Marie