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Same as it Ever Was

Same as it Ever Was

By: Ross Paterson


“Letting the days go by,

Same as it ever was,

And here the twister comes,

Here comes the twister.”

Once in a Lifetime, David Byrne


This Wednesday, I put on dress pants for the first time in a couple of months. We had our first physically distanced, in-person training session, followed by a lunch meeting with some new friends and future collaborators. I am thankful that Texas is working for a responsible reopening.  Hope rises.


As teams begin working out of the same space again, leaders would be foolish to assume everything will be “same as it ever was.” Every team will be dealing with additional stress and new dysfunction caused by fear, chaos on the home front, overwhelming safety operating rules and regulations, and the exacerbated political polarization of America.

Leaders, are your #XtraMile skills ready for communicating strategic pivots, creating daily focus, getting the team settled, and in sync?


Put an abundance of leadership time and energy into healthy teaming; help your teammates re-engage the big why and each other. This could be as simple as bagels and coffee together, letting everyone share their family quarantine stories and struggles. Facilitate a conversation about their biggest concerns with re-opening and encourage input for future operations.


If your team was already high conflict and semi-dysfunctional before the shutdown, things will be worse when you come back. If that is the case, you will need skilled outside help to get healthy communication flowing. An investment in your team to improve communication, reduce conflict, and create connection will give you ten times or better return on investment.


Follow this link for a few options from our playbook.