Over the last several years, work from home (WFH) has been a significant discussion topic in my line of work. Today, it’s front and center. The current state of affairs has allowed me to reframe how I view it: I realized that I was looking at the issue from a narrow perspective, how it benefits the employee.
We know Liminal Space.
There has always been a special group of people in my professional life--those in near orbit that provide counsel and afford access to their experiences. These professionals come from a myriad of backgrounds and industries; all are senior-level leaders. They are generous with time because they care, not just about me (which they absolutely do) but they care about people, about the way business should be done, about how decisions are made and all without ego or pride of authorship. This is a special group of human beings.
On Wednesday night, the National Basketball Assoc (NBA) suspended all games, indefinitely, when one player tested positive for COVID-19. The abrupt cancellation of a game about to start, with fans in attendance, and further cancellation of all games put the league on hiatus. It was a big, bold and costly decision. This took guts, and real leadership….and the ability to look at the long-term health of the league. It is the right step for players, administrative staff and fans of the league.
It’s an old Marine Corps popular saying in infantry that was top of mind as I started my current company as a remote only work environment---no company office at all. For many of us, time in seat equated to level of effort. In the past, getting into the office during a crisis was seen as a badge of honor. Today thankfully, neither holds true.
A manifesto to professionals in the new world of work.
I’ve been searching for years to develop a better structure to the way I approach recruitment. How I understand and perceive people, drawing out the bits of seemingly insignificant information that will lead to deep connections with others….framing it in a concise way has just eluded me.
Almost twenty years into the adventure of co-founding my own staffing and recruiting firm, I’d begun to feel the pangs of failure. I’d begun to feel unsettled. Isolated!
The joy, satisfaction--and material reward—of the early years had slowly given way to something else. I felt it in my gut. It was as if my body was telling me things my mind wasn’t ready to accept. I needed a profound change.
Around that time, over a cup of coffee with a senior executive exiting a well-known company, I was introduced to a term new to me. Stephen had had a great run but felt he accomplished all he could there. He spoke of where he was now: a space between what “had been” and what he would “be next”. He called it a “liminal space” – a place of transition, waiting and not knowing. It is in this place, he said, where all transformation takes place if we learn to wait and let it inform us.
The concept resonated with me deeply.
I recognized that it provided definition to where I was in my life. It allowed for a cathartic exhale. I could accept that I was in fact in a holding pattern, waiting to figure it all out. Not knowing the exact path, for me, is a frightening thing. Maybe you can relate. But learning that there was a name to describe perfectly where I was and what I was feeling allowed me to embrace it.
I realized I wanted to do things differently, much differently.
Rebooting your point of view and committing to it by creating a new venture – when you’re 20 years older, wiser—with some scar tissue earned along the way – is one heckuva way to get from where you’ve been to where you want to be.
That is what I am doing now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Just have a resume or job description to send me, not interested. I meet people, not keywords optimized for algorithms. It is all about developing real relationships, real insights into YOU – so I can best understand the totality of who and what you are, including your aspirations.
I understand that you are in a liminal space. I connect people. I invest my time in people. I take the long view because serendipity and timing are as important as connecting people who exhibit similar goals, traits, and interpersonal characteristics.
Fundamental, profound opportunities arise from profound connections.