In this episode, I share a few personal updates on what me and my family are doing in response to the Coronavirus. I then shift into three “frames” that have been helpful to me as I watch our leadership/citizenry come to terms with the virus:
First is the “Stockdale Paradox” which comes from Jim Collins book Good to Great. It invites us to balance optimism with realism in the face of challenging situations. I believe we have a leader in the US who is not confronting the brutal reality of Coronavirus, and this is having ripple effects throughout the country as people wrestle with how much to practice social distancing.
Second is a three stage process that one can observe when change is being introduced into a system. Our system is being forced to change from one that is about individual freedom, individual gain, and economic prosperity to one that is about the collective good and public health. As we navigate this change in the system, it will go through three stages:
- Ridicule: we saw this early on, and continue to see it somewhat from our president, as people started to self-select into social distancing.
- Violent opposition: as people start to see how disruptive social distancing is on our lives and our economy, they fight back against it and become quite upset with those of us who are practicing it.
- Adopted as self-evident: eventually, people come to terms with the gravity of the situation and they adopt the practices because it’s obvious they must do so. The faster we can move to this point in our society, the more people will survive this pandemic.
Third, I talk about the work of Viktor Frankl, survivor of three German concentration camps during WWII. Dr. Frankl wrote a wonderful book called Man’s Search for Meaning in which he talks about the “last of the individual freedoms…the ability to choose our attitude in the face of challenging people/circumstances.” I believe we are facing a time in our society where focusing on our way of being is equally, if not more than, important to what we do.