The concept of “team” can be wide. It includes those who are part of your core and extended teams, business partners and peer leaders who support your goals and want to see you succeed. In my case, I am fortunate to count on coaches, mentors and other insightful individuals who have guided me along the way.
For most of us, our personal journey informs our professional journey. Although there is sometimes an imaginary line between professional and personal, my wife, my daughters and my friends are all key members of my A Team. Before my healthcare career, I was a professional soccer player and was always inspired by our ability as team members to lean on each other to achieve success. This was formative in my belief that a strong support system creates balance and makes long, work-intense days more rewarding at the end.
To put it mildly, 2020 has been a challenging year. As the senior vice president of Intercontinental, Commercial, at Bristol Myers Squibb, I cover more than 70 markets spanning five continents. While it is true that COVID-19 took center stage, crisis-wise, we started the year with devastating bushfires in Australia. As COVID-19 continued to make its way through the world, we witnessed unparalleled moments of racial injustice, ravaging tropical storms and an explosion in Lebanon that made us think this year couldn’t get any worse.
Working from home for many months now has given me the opportunity to reflect on leading through crisis. I was not connecting in person with my teams, and realized it was critical to evaluate how we could build closer connections in a virtual world. Sometimes, even when we practice social distancing and are only six feet apart, we can still feel worlds away, and my team could not even get that close.