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29 JUNE 2020
We are naked together

by Peter Bregman: Peter Bregman is a strategic advisor to CEOs and the leadership teams. His most recent book is 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. To receive an email when he posts, click here.

I was on the phone with the CEO of a large Silicon Valley Tech firm when I heard crying on his side of the line. The tears were not his.

His son had caught his finger in a door. We paused the conversation as the CEO comforted his son.

We’re in the thick of this pandemic and it’s taking a terrible toll on our health, the economy, and so much else. Each person has their own unique story of struggle at this time.

But it is not only struggle. There is a beauty – a collateral beauty – in the midst of the suffering.

This CEO is not just a CEO. He is a father and a sweet, compassionate man. A human being who needs to interrupt calls to comfort his young son. Now that we are all working from our homes, I am seeing this humanness all over the place.

Thought leaders, who usually posture for the sake of their brand, now asking for help as their businesses falter. Broadway actors, usually on stage adorned in costumes and fanfare, singing in t-shirts on youtube from their bedrooms. And CEOs, usually defined by their titles and surrounded by an entourage, at home comforting their children.

This world – the real world – is not a show. People are not their roles. We are no longer simply characters in whatever theatre we happen to play in.

We are all human beings.

There is a way in which we are becoming naked together and seeing each other in less filtered ways. People as people. Drinking coffee. Making mistakes. Struggling with procrastination, with relationships, with technology.

That is the collateral beauty. The permission to be real, to be imperfect, to be human.
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Peter Bregman
Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm, and advises CEOs and their leadership teams. He is the author of Point B: A Short Guide To Leading a Big Change and 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done to be published in September 2011. Peter can be reached at www.peterbregman.com and followed on twitter @PeterBregman. He regularly delivers speeches and keynote presentations at conferences and corporate meetings around the world. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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