Leading in a Time of Crisis

It’s almost been 2 months since the COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted us all from our lives as we once knew them. As a designer, business owner, member of the design community, and a father I wanted to share my perspective on these constantly changing events.

For me, I’m not willing to accept this as the “new normal” – as my good friend Brett Lovelady said, “This is “F*N ABNORMAL.” I feel that making this distinction is paramount to overcoming the pandemic and in moving forward.

As a designer, I am inherently open to change and trained as a creative problem solver. Nowadays, I wake up early thinking about ways to potentially give back and help. I feel strongly that collectively we will get through these unprecedented times. I look forward to creating solutions for the new challenges and saying, “BRING IT ON!”

As a business owner who employs a super talented team of designers and creatives, it’s been a challenging month. I have focused on positioning Sprout for the strongest possible recovery. To me, it all starts with sturdy leadership and management, clear communication, and overall transparency. This entails maintaining employee morale and client relationships and making sure that Sprout is there for them through it all. We’ve been able to achieve this through virtual daily stand-ups, lots of Slack, meetings as needed, creative brainstorm sessions, happy hours, and making myself available as necessary.

As a member of the design community, the slowdown has given me more time to reflect on the big picture and what’s next for design and the world. It’s allowed me to connect on a higher level with my friends who range from young designers, peers, like-minded business owners, and clients. I’ve had more engaging phone calls with these people in the past month than I think I have in the last 5 years combined.

As a community, we need to stay connected and be optimistic that the current uncertainty will subside and creativity will prevail. It’s also a great time to start working on all those side projects and incubating the entrepreneurial ideas you’ve had. Internally, we are organizing and working on our next round of COVID-related Sprout Labs initiatives – more on this in the upcoming months.

As a father, it’s given me some much needed time with my family. Homeschooling and social distancing have been challenging but at this point, we have adjusted. We have been doing a lot more creative activities like Arts & Crafts, Legos, and building in general. We have been getting outside into nature on hikes and bike rides. We have also been enjoying our home doing spring clean up, home improvement, gardening, and lots of cooking at home. My two daughters have been spending a lot less time on their screens, getting along better (a bit better anyway), and just more engaged overall. We even had family Zoom call with ages ranging from a few months to 96. This has been my silver lining during this pandemic and I have every intention of keeping it this way.

I hope this may have helped to bring some positive vibes to your day and please feel free to reach out – we’re in this together.

Stay Safe, Stay Busy & Stay Positive,

Jordan