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At Zia, we’re sharing the resources we have available to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

A good friend of mine reminded me of Rorke Denver’s best leadership advice he received from Navy Seal training, “Calm is Contagious.” Remember that—as a leader at your job, in your community, church, friend group, or your family—as you go, the people around you go. You can insert any word into that phrase and it applies. So, it might as well be calm. When you are calm, you engage your prefrontal cortex or the thinking part of your brain. It is the part of your brain that helps you make good decisions.

Mike Mahon
Zia Consulting,

Strategies from “The Scary Times Success Manual”

One of the best things I’ve read this week is “The Scary Times Success Manual” by Dan Sullivan. This article was written as a response to the fear, uncertainty, and paralysis that resulted from the 9/11 attacks. It is relevant today. Here are the top 10 strategies:

  1. Forget about yourself; focus on others.
  2. Forget about your commodity; focus on your relationships.
  3. Forget about the sale; focus on creating value.
  4. Forget about your losses; focus on your opportunities.
  5. Forget about your difficulties; focus on your progress.
  6. Forget about the “future”; focus on today.
  7. Forget about who you were; focus on who you can be.
  8. Forget about events; focus on your responses.
  9. Forget about what’s missing; focus on what’s available. 
  10. Forget about your complaints; focus on your gratitude.

Tips to shift from anxiety to calm

If you are feeling anxious, here are three tips to help you get back to calm:

  1. Breathing exercises:
    • Box breathing: 
      1. Breathe in for six seconds, hold it for six seconds, breathe out for six seconds and hold for six seconds.
      2. Repeat four to six times.
    • 678 breathing:
      1. Breathe in for six seconds, hold for seven seconds. Place your tongue on the backside of your front two teeth and breathe out for eight seconds.
      2. Repeat four to six times.
  2. Practice gratitude:
    • Tell one of your loved ones (partner, child, friend) the best thing that happened to you this day. It can be as simple as a good cup of coffee or a funny quote you heard. No exceptions, no complaining. 
    • Think of any person, either that you know or you don’t, and think three positive thoughts about that person. I’d typically say do this at a coffee shop with a complete stranger, but that doesn’t make sense right now. You don’t need to tell them, just focus and think about them.
    • Share gratitude with a person you care about. Send an email, call, or video chat to a loved one or colleague and tell them something that you are grateful about. The trick here is to be specific. Tell them what they did and the impact it had on you. 
  3. Think about three small things you could do today that would make today amazing. Do them!

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