During this unprecedented time, I have learned a few key lessons not just as a working professional but as a father of a child with special needs and the husband of an essential worker. Essentially, who you work for matters in times of crisis, and how you are managed can either exacerbate the situation or help keep you together and lift your spirits. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the latter.
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When March came in like a lion, COVID-19 followed suit and changed everything. My son is now five years old. He has microcephaly, cerebral palsy, is legally blind, and does not walk or talk. At the same time, he is also the happiest kid who can light up any room with his smile. He loves to clap along with music and he is our biggest blessing and our greatest inspiration.
Because of his special needs, my son attends a special needs school, where he normally receives 1 to 1 classroom supervision in addition to all different kinds of therapies multiple times per week – occupational, physical, speech, and vision therapy. Needless to say, when schools were closed, we weren’t just losing out on his education, but we were also taking a huge step back in these extra services provided to him that we count on for his slow but steady progress.
Meanwhile, my wife works as an essential worker in the psychiatric unit of a hospital here in Long Island, which was a hot spot for COVID-19 when the pandemic first hit. Like all essential workers during this time, she has stepped up and done her job without missing a beat. She also happens to be one of the most positive and optimistic people on the planet, and the way she lifts everyone’s spirits makes her exceptional at what she does.
Now, this is where the leadership I have received from my company Minuteman Press International comes into play. As soon as the orders came down to work from home, I was one of the first people to be set up with a virtual desktop so I could do my job and also take care of my family. Knowing my situation and showing true empathy towards me simply meant and still means the world to me.
The rest of my coworkers quickly followed suit, and within one or two days everyone was set up to work from home. Following this Herculean effort by our IT Team, we all went to work and we’ve been very productive as a team. We set up virtual training programs, rolled out new marketing programs including Bounce Back USA, a free COVID-19 resource to support local businesses, and have had frequent communications with each other.
Reflecting on this time, here are four lessons I’ve learned and how receiving the right leadership has helped:
1. Empathy means everything… and leads to increased productivity. Because of how quickly I was set up at home and with my company supporting me, I was able to worry less and …read more
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