Be mindful of what feelings you show and share with your team, because they are looking to you as their barometer to decide just how scary this is. So my advice to you is ‘Woo ride!’

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– Hey everybody. Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. Yet again, I am coming to you this week from my home. Big shout-out to my friend, Jim. Thank you for sending me this Swamp Bats T-shirt. Awesome! Go Swamp Bats! This week, I’m actually coming to you from my daughter’s room. And behind me, you’ll see a world map where we have, for the last several years, last many years, stuck a pin in every city that we have visited. And as many of you know, one of our goals was to get to all seven continents before she finished nursing school, which we were able to accomplish with our trip to Antarctica in December of 2019. So, pretty awesome; very full map. One of the many reasons why I love traveling with my daughter is because she is a great traveler. And part of the reason why she’s a great traveler is nothing upsets her: she doesn’t mind turbulence, she doesn’t mind changes in itinerary or schedule, she’s just a go-with-the-flow traveler. And I believe a lot of that is because of how I traveled with her when she was little. So when she was little, I remember a very specific plane ride, where the plane, it was really turbulent. And people were freaking out, and people were crying, and I realized that she was going to decide, if this was scary or not, based on what I did. And so I looked at her, and I went, “Woo ride!” And through the entire turbulent season of that flight, which was pretty long, she and I, and she was a toddler, she and I were, “Woo ride! Woo ride!” And we just celebrated the roller-coaster-like experience we were having. And even today, when we’re flying together and we go through turbulence, she’ll look at me and go, “Woo ride!” We’re not as exuberant as we were when she was little, but we still use it as a way to remind ourselves that there’s fun in this too and this’ll pass. Right? The reason I’m telling you this story is because I had a really interesting conversation with an agency owner this week, and we were talking about going back to work and meeting with clients, and all of the things that we are used to doing and now we’re trying to sort of get back to. And we were talking about how important it is for us, as agency owners and leaders, to sort of set the mood for what this is about. So we can either treat going back to the office as scary, we can treat it as an adventure we’re going to figure out together, we can treat it as a, “Look, here’s what I think I know today, but I know it’s going to change, so we all have to be flexible.” And how you present that and how you present your mood, is going to be critical to how your team survives and thrives through the next several months. It’s not just about going back to the office. It’s about everything that we have to sort of do again for the first time: get on a plane, have a face-to-face meeting with a client, all of those things. And so, one of the things that you need to be very aware of is your mood. A lot of you are stressed to the max, a lot of you are a little grumpy right now, and a lot of you need to sort of check yourself before you literally or figuratively walk into a room with an employee or all your employees, your team. And you need to decide what mood do you want to project. So even if you’re not feeling it, this very well may be for you a ‘fake it till you make it’ moment. But you need to decide what you want to project, and make sure that both verbally and non-verbally, you’re projecting whatever that mood is, that you want your team to pick up on. Because, very much like Kelsey on that plane as a toddler, if you are making it a ‘Woo ride!’ experience, they will participate with you at that level. But if they sense you are anxious about it or nervous or mad or whatever it is, they’re going to pick that up too. So, I’m not saying you don’t have a right to have those feelings, what I am saying though is be mindful of what feelings you show and share with your team, because they are looking to you as their barometer to decide just how scary this is. So my advice to you is ‘Woo ride!’ All right? I’ll see you next week.

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