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TTI - Issue #54: Of Ants and Our Vitality, Viability, and Vulnerability

Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
What is the juxtaposition?

When plotting the imperatives - the McKinsey's folks missed an important one: making it through these times as a human. (Original McKinsey report:
When plotting the imperatives - the McKinsey's folks missed an important one: making it through these times as a human. (Original McKinsey report:
Back in May 2020, fairly at the beginning of the pandemic, McKinsey and Oxford Economics, time boxed the virus and the economic shock into two key imperatives:
  1. Safeguard our lives (read: our vitality)
  2. Safeguard our livelihoods (read: our viability)
Albeit, what they neglected to plot onto their graph was the energy toll of making it through these times as a human whilst juggling those two key imperatives - our vulnerability.
How can we tell?
Let’s do a side by side comparison of a 2019 answer to a 2021 answer to a simple question:
“How’ you doin‘?”
- an easy question to ask, but nowadays, in this #middleofstrangeness, it is a difficult one to answer.
So why is this simple question is no longer met with the 2019 knee-jerk reaction of “fine” - but rather is only answered, after folks stop to take a breath to consider their vulnerable honesty to speak their truth out loud?
Well, in my opinion, it is because the challenging reality of the complex interweaving of our work-life, home-life, school-life, financial-life, social-life, health-life, family-life, and heck, self-life have become more front and center in our conversations than they were in the past.
The “stop to take a breath” honesty has come from the broader societal and personal awareness that “doing something just because we feel we should” is taxing - and the general willingness to put “lipstick on the pig” is becoming less prevalent.
This is playing out in how we are seeing employees respond to the “return back to the workplace” politics, when candidates debate if they should accept a job offer or not depending on how the role would impact their quality of life, tennis players choosing their mental health, chess players choosing their principles, and other such examples of brave choices.
This “stop to take a breath” willingness, despite the chaos, exhaustion, anxiety, and headaches of bringing all-of the aforementioned lives under one hat, has also brought an awareness around the juxtaposition of our subjective well-being, that lies in the cross-over of the three key imperatives to our health and outlook.
What is the juxtaposition?
Well, it is that our viability (as employees, professionals, parents, spouses, friends), our vitality (in terms of health, diet, self-care, work-life choices, purpose), and our vulnerability (our mental health, our willingness to actualize our own energy, needs, and areas, we want to improve upon) are interlocked, in ways in which were perhaps not as apparent as before. The awareness that we cannot rationalize away the stressors - nor ignore the fact that the build-up, effects all three areas.
It is reminiscent of the quote from Henry David Thoreau
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”
There is beauty and freedom in that question. As with everything, there are things that lie within our locus of control - and outside of our influence. Yet at the same time, there are many things in which we do have optionality with the freedom to choose.
By asking ourselves:
“What am I busy about?”
we invite the opportunity to weigh in and “take a breath” in the broader scheme of things that are important for our vulnerability, vitality, and viability - and our freedom to make brave choices in their favor.
#workingtremotelybeingconnected (#WRBC) model from @ElizabethLembke (2021): "How am I leading myself, before leading others?"
#workingtremotelybeingconnected (#WRBC) model from @ElizabethLembke (2021): "How am I leading myself, before leading others?"
Take a Breath: Viability
The Mystery of the Miserable Employees: How to Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy
7 Tools for Workplace Resilience
Return to Office: Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Work From Home - Bloomberg
Take a Breath: Vitality
Resetting the World with Wellness White Paper Series
Wellness And The Future Of Work: Some Of The Best Companies Share Their New Solutions
Take a Breath: Vulnerability
High Touch Leadership in the Low Touch Economy
Understanding how human factors affect teams and safety during COVID-19
When Burnout Is a Sign You Should Leave Your Job
Working through it – Part 1 Start with today
10 Keys to Happier Living
Breath Support in Working Remotely Being Connected
#workingtremotelybeingconnected (#WRBC) model from @ElizabethLembke (2021) for individuals and teams
#workingtremotelybeingconnected (#WRBC) model from @ElizabethLembke (2021) for individuals and teams
TTI: What are the ants in your proverbial pants?
Health and Vitality IS the juxtaposition of Vitality, Viability, and Vulnerability in the #WorkingRemotelyBeingConnected model. To help us as individuals, leaders, and teams, understand, what can we do, as we stop to take that breath, so that we can weigh out that braver, and yes, oftentimes very vulnerable choice for our overall well-being.
I wish you some good, deep breaths to get the clarity around “what are we busy about”. If you would like some breath support, I would love to pop on a call to dive into deeper.
All of my best regards,
Your Chief Talent Navigator,
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Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant) @elizabethlembke

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Elizabeth Lembke, Transforming Talent Consulting: and