February 2020

Adapting to the Unforeseen

The COVID-19 virus has recently been dominating the news and it is in many ways a horror movie scenario. It’s broad ranging effects are being felt the world over and it is alarming to realise the full of extent of the impact it is having at a global level particularly in areas we take for granted. For the people in Chinese cities it means they are quarantined and confined indoors, have severely limited access to food and staple items and the fear of contracting the virus. Others are being isolated on cruise ships and quarantine camps.

From a broader perspective, the global supply chain of tv’s, cars, phones and many other items has been slowed to a halt with thousands of factories in China closed.

In Australia, the economy has taken a hit with the travel restrictions that have prevented Chinese nationals from entering Australia meaning that revenue from Chinese tourism is significantly reduced and will affect GDP. Australian Universities have also postponed the commencement of the academic year to minimise the effect on Chinese students currently stuck in China.

At a personal level, my own consultancy business is being directly affected with a number of assignments I had planned in the Asian region over the next 3 months being cancelled due to the risks of infection. It is remarkable that such an unexpected and uncontrollable situation can have such far reaching implications for the world at so many different levels.

With such a complex and vast range of impacts, it is hard to know exactly what is the best response. It is of course frustrating to have no power to influence the situation directly. My thoughts on this are that when a situation like this arises and has such a ripple effect, we need to be as agile and adaptative as possible. If anything it offers us an opportunity to evaluate our own strengths and weaknesses and ways in which we can limit our vulnerability by taking steps that allow us to be less affected. In other words, being focused on the things we have some degree of control of. These include; keeping ourselves physically and mentally healthy. It may require a recalibration of our current business model. It certainly will require resilience and maintaining optimism. As with all other things, this situation will come to pass. In the meantime, let’s give a thought for all those families and individuals directly affected by this virus.



In this episode of CQ for Global Leaders, Tom discusses compassion and what it is to be a compassionate leader.

Click here to listen



Book Recommendation:


Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What you say and What you Don't, L. David Marquet

The language we use in the workplace can inhibit creative problem-solving and escalate uncertainty and stress. In both high-pressure situations and everyday scenarios, in each meeting and email, we have the opportunity to empower our colleagues by using the right words.

In Leadership is Language, Former US navy captain David Marquet expands on his bestselling leadership book Turn the Ship Around! and shows managers and leaders the next step in their development: how to enable their team through communication.

Marquet outlines a set of principles and tools that help leaders inspire their people to take responsibility and address challenges without waiting to be told what to do, highlighting how small changes in language can lead to dramatic changes in a team's success and happiness.


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