When a Pandemic Teaches you What you Really Need

I joined Boldr full-time as President on January 1, 2020. Just after two months later we had to position the company for a full on transformation to ensure we acknowledge the trauma that everyone was about to experience. In a situation like that, given my experience in explicit post-disaster situations (project managing housing options post-Katrina) and as a byproduct of my leadership roles at a host of companies (which among other things, included responding to an attack from the Syrian Electronic Army that affected the New York Times), I’ve learned that getting the story right at the start provides both confidence and air cover for everything that follows.

Which is why when COVID hit the world, I pulled our team together and set everyone up for operational tasks to facilitate an immediate flip of our business to fully remote. And then, I developed our narrative. One based on two simple pillars (ensuring (1a) team health and safety and (1b) client health and success, and in doing so, deliberately deprioritizing anything associated to revenue) and one that would serve all stakeholders simultaneously (team members, clients, community, and their broader networks).

The result was so powerful and transformative, we embraced what Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun referred to as “posttraumatic growth” in the most literal of senses.

  1. Our team grew from 250 to 640 from April 2020 to April 2021.
  2. Our revenue increased 310% from April 2020 to April 2021.
  3. We expanded our footprint from one physical location in Manila to teams and offices in Manila, Tacloban, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa.

All while maintaining our values. The story carried us through our initial response and was so powerful, it has served as both our foundation and our North Star for everything that has come our way since.

When things are changing, people need security — coherence in security. That is achieved through authentic stories, well framed and well told.

You can read more about our response to the pandemic which was featured by a number of prominent communities serving entrepreneurs and business around the world:

Boldr’s Response to the Pandemic in Business2Community. (text)

Boldr’s Response to the Pandemic featured by Duke University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. (text)

Boldr’s Response to the Pandemic featured as Keynote at the Growth and Innovation Conference (video)