Go above and beyond when it matters most

Sadly, at some point in your career, you are going to have a peer, boss, or direct report face some type of tough personal challenge. What that is will vary greatly, but you will know it when it happens… it could be the passing of a family member, a natural disaster that displaces them, or a really bad illness.

When this (unfortunately) happens, it’s important to Go Big. Go above and beyond. Demonstrate compassion when it really matters. Beyond the altruistic reasons, these are the milestone moments that people remember long into the future. When you’re down and out, those that step up and support you make a meaningful impression. And this is a case where actions speak much louder than words: approve their time off, cover them while they are gone, intercept that pesky client or sales prospect so they don’t have to think about it. It will mean something.

My business partner, Amin, is exceptional at this and I have learned a lot observing how he handles these types of situations. To use a very minor/micro version of a personal example. In early 2021, Julia and I got COVID. This was still in the earlier period (pre-vaccine) when it was scary, and there was still a stigma around it; most people in Canada didn’t have a 1st-degree connection that had been infected. In the first 24 hours, Amin and his wife Maleka asked if they could help in anyway: we of course said no, not to bother, we would be fine. The next day, unannounced, they showed up in the backyard with a huge bag of goodies (some of our favourite foods, medicine, etc.). This really stuck with me: taking action to help goes much further than simply offering it. Demonstrating compassion through action without burdening the recipient with the need to ask is going big.