The COVID-19 pandemic has been the ultimate test of resilience for corporate leaders everywhere.  

Since March of 2020, organizations around the globe have had to pivot their day-to-day operations to address the impacts of the ongoing pandemic. And behind every successful organization was a strong leadership team. 

During the early months of the pandemic, team leaders, managers, and company executives “had to reinterpret events from a standpoint of fear to one of opportunity,” writes Monica Fike, Editor at LinkedIn News

Their ability to respond and react with confidence in the wake of a crisis is called cognitive reframing, and it is the most effective mechanism for resilience, according to leadership coach Lionel Frankfort

Who do I want to be during COVID-19? 

Early last year, Frankfort was captivated by a now-viral chart that poses the question, Who do I want to be during COVID-19?

Figure 1. “Who do I want to be during COVID-19?”

Potential answers to the question change as one moves from the Fear Zone, defined by emotions of fear and anger, to the Growth Zone, defined by empathy. The middle zone, called the Learning Zone, represents the transition from fear to empathy through self-awareness. 

The final zone, the Enlightenment Zone, does not appear in the original chart. “There was a final stage missing from the image: the enlightenment zone,” writes Frankfort. “[This is] where I could appreciate quality time with my family. This journey happened in an extremely privileged context with all my basic needs covered.” 


Cognitive reframing

The chart inspired Frankfort to dig deeper into the mechanisms through which leaders build resilience.  

To better understand how leaders transitioned from the Fear Zone to the Growth Zone (and later, the Enlightenment Zone), Frankfort interviewed 42 top executives between March and December 2020. He asked them to position themselves across the four zones and share the habits or practices they developed to manage stress over the course of the year. 

The results pointed to cognitive reframing as the most frequently cited mechanism for resilience.  

“The art of reframing is in the ability to put the Covid-19 crisis into perspective and interpret the facts in a less threatening manner,” says Frankfort. 

Some examples of practices that fall under the umbrella of cognitive reframing include: 

  • Crafting a long-term vision and setting short-term priorities to work towards it 
  • Referring to previous crises to inform organizational strategy 
  • Formulating a plan of action in case of the worst-case scenario 

Other mechanisms for resilience

Outside of their capacity to engage in cognitive reframing, most leaders also adopted practices that align with other mechanisms for resilience: 

  • Adjusting for employee health and safety  
  • Instilling a sense of purpose 
  • Participating in outdoor activities 

“Deliberately or intuitively, all [leaders] deployed one or more of the above mechanisms to raise personal resilience, and thereby fulfill their leadership mandate.” 

Becoming a leader 

Are you ready to take your leadership skills to the next zone? Visit https://greenkeyllc.com/jobs/ and filter by experience level and industry to find the right opportunity for you. 

Jun 6, 2023

Tips for a Successful Job Search This Summer

Are you in the market for a new job this summer? If so, you might want to factor summer vacation into your job search strategy.

After over a year of remote work and social distancing, the world is slowly but surely returning to normal. As COVID-19 vaccinations become increasingly available and travel restrictions loosen up, we can expect to see more workers taking time off this summer.

Just this past July 4 weekend, nearly 50 million Americans traveled for the holiday, up 40% from 2020 and only 2.5% below the record set in 2019.

While the return of summer vacation is great news for those of us who had to cancel our plans last summer, it can create more obstacles for job seekers during this time.

“With all of those people traveling soon and throughout the summer, it’s bound to disrupt some hiring processes as recruiters, talent professionals and hiring managers take time off to relax,” writes Andrew Seaman, Senior Editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News.

Does that mean job seekers should put their search on hold for the summer? 

Not necessarily! 

However, it is important for job seekers to revamp their strategy during this time. In his latest article, Seaman highlights several key recommendations from hiring experts. Here are our top three:

1. Keep going

The waiting game is one of the most stressful parts of the job search, and summer can certainly extend this period. The slower pace of hiring processes this summer might discourage active candidates from applying to roles but this will only lead to missed opportunities.

“You must keep your job search going so you don’t miss out on opportunities. Otherwise, people who jump into their searches during the summer or those who do keep going will gain an advantage,” says Seaman.

2. Follow up

Longer response times don’t equate to a rejected application. Recruiters and talent professionals will eventually return to the office and once they do, they will pick up right where they left off. 

Career consultant Jessica Williams touches on the importance of the follow-up email, urging job seekers to be particularly mindful of the following for their job applications:

  • The date the application was submitted
  • Who the application was sent to
  • If the contact sent out an out-of-office reply, their return-to-office date 

“Set a reminder on your phone and create a laid out follow up email to be sent on that date. This way you’re ahead of the follow up and you don’t have to stress,” writes Williams.

3. Reevaluate your job search

Slow periods are a great time for candidates to research roles in new industries and develop new skillsets. They’re also the perfect time to network. 

“Research other industries/companies that you are interested in and create a targeted job search strategy by creating a list and identify key players you can proactively network with,” writes career coach and recruiter June Caloroso.

What’s next?

Someone else’s vacation should never get in the way of your career goals. Green Key is here to support your search. Yes, even in the middle of summer. 

In fact, we’re posting more jobs for you to check out every day. Take a look for yourself: https://greenkeyllc.com/jobs/