June 16, 2021
I was talking on the phone to my daughter yesterday, who lives in Seattle and works for Principal Financial. She told me that the discussion in her business is, "What did we learn from the pandemic?" Great question. And one that we should all ask ourselves, both professionally and personally.
For me and True West it is this:
We could not sustain our office environment in the pandemic. Several of our key employees were driving 25 to 35 miles to work and the quarantine literally demolished that model. My partner, Ken Amorosano, saw that threat immediately and moved quickly and aggresively to not renew our lease and in fact, we moved out of our offices and started working remotely. Frankly, it probably saved our business. If it were up to me, I would still be there because I loved the True West World Headquarters—it was my sandbox—and would never have made that decision on my own.
Adapt Or Die
But it isn't just magazines. I had a doctor's appointment in Scottsdale yesterday and as I drove down there and back I saw major, jaw-dropping ruin on almost every corner. Long-time favorite restaurants that did not adapt to outdoor dining are boarded up. Strip malls look like some haphazard wrecking ball has hit every third store. Big mall parking lots look like abandoned drag strips. The wreckage is massive and everywhere.
What Have I Learned Personally?
On a personal note, I have noticed that key relationships are quite a bit more intense (Hello Kathy!), and sometimes it seems that we are twice as likely to go into full blown catastrophic arguments at the drop of a hat. The stay-at-home mode has created a much more hair-trigger-pressure-cooker environment. This is probably why the old job commute and being gone all day, softened that intensity and made being home more special ("Honey, I'm home!" seems like a distant, quaint memory). Miss that a bit. I also don't like the "every day is Saturday" aspect of the new world order.
But, really, what I especially learned is, after all is said and done, it's even more important to communicate successfully.
Hey, Chill Out Covid Dude.
Havin' a nervous breakdown, a-drive me insane"