Navigating COVID-19: Practical Advice from a Key4Women Expert – Janet Kendall White
While we all may feel a bit disconnected from our routines, our workplaces, co-workers and friends, the extended Key4Women® team is busy leaning in to bring practical advice to others during this time of disruption resulting from COVID-19.
"What we realize, more at this time than ever, is that the relationships we’ve built together over the past 15 years through this network are steadfast and dedicated to helping each other for the greater good," said Barb Smith, Director, Key4Women. "We can proudly say that our Key4Women members in communities across the nation are strong strategists, experts at flexibility, calm leaders in the face of crisis, and niche professionals who willingly band together for the future success of one another – even in the most uncertain of times."
Here are some thoughts and advice from one of our experts at Key4Women:
Janet Kendall White, Leadership & Culture Development,
CEO, Berkshire Group, Inc.
Perspective During COVID-19
"I have the word ‘attitude’ written on top of my planner daily," said White, a leadership and culture development consultant and facilitator. "Even glass-half-full people have experienced a tough day during COVID-19. We all feel the loss of liberty to go out and do the things we normally do. Our freedoms were taken away quickly, and we had to adapt within just a few days."
"Within minutes of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s first pandemic announcement, I saw cancellations start to come in on my email," White said. Most small business owners had to scramble quickly to salvage business opportunities by engaging virtually or rescheduling in-person training or speaking engagements when possible. Many business incomes were significantly impacted, and some flatlined. "Time to pivot and to serve. We have been offering free seminars of various types and one-on-one coaching to assist leaders during this time. Anyone that needs help, especially leaders, are welcome to reach out to us."
During this stressful time, White relies on networks of women business owners such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Women Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV). These networks have been critical in helping women business owners stay connected and able to access counsel and resources quickly. "From legal advice, to family management, to how to change a background in Zoom, organizations like these have been a lifeline for many of us," White said.
"If I were giving advice to my 28-year-old daughter, I would tell her that mentors come from many different places," said White. "Early in my career I did not have available mentor relationships, so I relied on books. John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins became my mentors."
Today, it’s a bit easier to make meaningful connections. White recommends a personal board of advisors for all women in business. "These are not your friends who love you as you are," said White. "Your board of advisors are a handful of people you can count on to see your potential and to help you plan to achieve it."
An Enlightening Observation
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for" – Unknown
"There has been great opportunity and there will also be fallout from the COVID-19 situation. The majority of us have had to pivot in some way, either in our daily work, or with our business as a whole," said White. "As we move through this pandemic event, we must take care of our own physical and mental health. Only then are we able to give back by helping others and to make choices for the benefit of ourselves and of our businesses."
"Gather good data, seek good advice and do what is right for you," White said.