Skip to main content


I have found myself wondering if my thinking is misplaced. Whether I was born long after my time or way before my time…….

“How many leaders, Executives, Managers, supervisors…just anyone in a position of authority paused long enough to realise that “sending employees to work from home” was equal to a business budging into a family’ living room and occupying space there?”

The word cloud at the top of this page has some interesting words that I associate with Leadership Etiquette: protocol, manners, social, culture, polite, class, friendly, conduct, rules, personal, respectful ……

Please think about it. So, one day a company sends its employee to your house, laptop, and all, to occupy the dining room table if you are lucky enough to have a dining room, or your bedroom, or your kitchen table. Not only does this employee arrive and demand this spot in your house, your family privacy goes out the window. You are on all these virtual meetings and no one says anything about the breach of your security.

What about the family dynamics? What about the family structure? What about the family culture? Who is the boss of the house? The employee’s boss or the family head? Says who? Who determines what the best times are for calls, meetings, and drawing reports and business plans? Who determines which role is important? Parent role, child role, spouse role… How do we determine what comes first?

Does “You get paid” bulldoze through everything and take precedence over everything, or else? How many “employees” occupying people’s dining room tables are under immense pressure…how many are walking on eggshells? Who knows about it? Or does it matter?

This “employee”, is he/she on his/her own? Does this employee even feel safe enough to whisper into the ear of the organisation the challenges, and suggest a few things that can be done to ease the tension without relegating on his/her duty? Like asking for certain times for meetings and calls? Or is it just too unsafe to even try? How does this weigh on the “employee’s” mental wellness?

Organisation, before these result-oriented meetings, do you allocate enough time for check-in? Check-in where the “employee can share the emotional, social, psychological, mental, physical and spiritual challenges? Check-in where you as a leader “hear what is not being said” because of your commitment to the “employee”? Where “employee” walks away feeling heard and valued and supported?

“How many leaders, Executives, Managers, supervisors…just anyone in a position of authority paused long enough to realise that “sending employees to work from home” was equal to a business budging into a family’ living room and occupying space there?”

Am I crazy to think like this? I do not know.

Let us go back to your company Vision, Mission, Values, and Leadership Philosophies. What commitments have you made to your employees? And by default, what commitments did you make to their families and communities? Was there a disclaimer? And I truly get that none of us have lived during anything like this crazy virus that got all of us running and hiding in our homes. I fully appreciate the craziness of it all, and maybe I do not appreciate the depth, width, length, and density of the craziness. And, maybe in the first 6 weeks there was enough reason to appreciate that leaders did not see this coming, and were therefore blindsided and the last thing on their minds were the values of the organisation. I guess when you are struggling to breath, and you are gasping for air, the last things on your mind are your values……

12 weeks later, have your eyes landed on the values? Even if it is once? Did you catch yourself wondering to what extent those values are still relevant? Did that thought even cross your mind? Did you stop and think about what it would look like if you stood up, dusted yourself from the crazy fall, and reorganize yourself, including go back to fit back into your conscious commitments, and lead from there? Or is 12 weeks not long enough? What do I mean by conscious commitments?

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Leadership Philosophy
  • Company Ethos
  • Your Team Conscious Commitment aligned to the 5 tools above.
  • Your Personal Conscious Commitment aligned to the 6 above.

The quality that comes to mind when I talk about eventually standing up, dusting yourself up and aligning to your conscious commitments is RESILLIENCE. I have heard enough people talk about resilience and define it as the ability to pick yourself up quickly. So, are you resilient? Have you picked yourself up and aligned yourself so that you BE leader in line with your conscious commitments? See, Resilience is a LEADERSHIP COMPETENCY.

Resilience is a competency of a CONSCIOUS Leader. Resilience is part of the Conscious Leadership Maturity Matrix™. Without this competency every leader can hide behind circumstances, therefore making commitments becomes a “nice to have”. It becomes something that we adhere to when things work.

Yes, I am still talking about this “employee” who budged into the family room of a family, and occupied space and the company did not have the courtesy to send a note, even after the fact, to apologies, explain the situation, and acknowledge the awkwardness that prevails. Courtesy is yet another leadership competency, especially during this era of COVID19 that is likely to go on for a while.

I wonder as people go back to work, whether the company is planning to send a “Thank-you note” with chocolates to the family: