Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness

At the top of the My Writing page where these daily posts are hosted, I say:

I get my best ideas from listening to people. Fortunately, that’s my job. I like to say that people are my library, and my daily writing practice is a way to discover what’s in it: new ideas, inspiration, wisdom

As we move through the Covid-19 crisis I am focussing on what I hear on calls around the world each day and looking to capture some learnings and look to share in the moment each day what feels most relevant.

Right now, on many zoom calls, people are asking for expert advice more and more, so where I have the relevant expertise (yes, including being a “recovering Chartered Accountant” and past business owner and investor) I give that advice. For these posts, though, I focus most supporting leaders and around behaviour and communications.

So, this week a theme is people owning that they are struggling as humans and asking what to do, hence I wrote two days ago “Be a thermostat, not a thermometer” and yesterday “Control the Controllables“. Linking these two together with an Emotional Equation from the first from Chip Conley from the first of the two posts:

Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness

We are all, to some degree, finding ourselves in moments of mental struggle at this time. I find this equation powerful and simple. My advice is to minimise watching the news (limit yourself to checking news updates online once a day), as there is so much uncertainty right now an in the coming weeks in most countries that is is of no service to our mental health to check in on this much. Instead, focus on what you can do, what you have power over, whether that be for yourself, those you lead, your business, family, friends.

As an equation, focus on being empowered and empowering others to see where they can help your business and themselves.

Empower yourself so that you, as a leader, can empower others.


Also published on Medium.