Loyola University Chicago

Loyola Business Leadership Hub

Housed in the Quinlan School of Business


Mile 21 – Hitting the wall and getting past it

Mile 21 – Hitting the wall and getting past it

Dear friends and colleagues,

Anybody who’s ever run a marathon understands the phrase hitting the wall. It strikes around the 18-20 mile mark and refers to depleting stored glycogen and the feelings of fatigue and negativity that typically accompany it.

Many of us are feeling like we've hit our own kind of wall as we work through weeks 4-5 of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are digging deep to find the reserves or tools to carry us through and possibly even preparing for the next opportunity or race. Below are some techniques runners use to push past that 20-mile mark—I wanted to share these with you because these same strategies can be adapted to help us in our own lives today:

  1. Start smart. Structure your sleep and exercise, get outside every day, and find ways to calm in your brain (spend 30 minutes every day on something not related to work but that requires effort, thought, and concentration). This old saw is worth repeating: take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
  2. Focus. Aim your attention on what you can control at this stage of the game. It’s a great way to fight the sense of powerlessness.  Spend your energy wisely.
  3. Take in some sustenance. Spiritual practices and meditation, even for 5 minutes at a time, can support us. Stress eating is a real thing, but it can’t sustain us. Build healthy meals and snacks into the workday and take breaks every 90 minutes to give your eyes a break from screen time.
  4. Mind Games. As you fatigue, refer to techniques that support you when you are discouraged or tired. Slow down and check in with your trusted coaches and advisors. Make a social phone call or play some music at the end and beginning of the day to change your  mental channel.

Family businesses have the benefit of longevity and a history of resilience.  We can lean in, dig deep, slow down, and move past the wall. Below are some more resources to help you in the weeks ahead.

Free webinar April 24

Leverage the board you have now for the crisis you have today.
The Family Business board provides oversight and guidance to business leadership. Companies that manage to leverage their boards as a resource for crisis mitigation will have a competitive edge and a better chance to recovery quickly. Join acclaimed family business professors Andrew Keyt and Joe Astrachan for this practical guide to leveraging the board you have now. We hope you'll join us on April 24 @ 1pm CDT. Learn more and register for the webinar

Some good news

Nominate a family business/nominate your own business
Nominations for the Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards are now being accepted for the 2020 awards season. If you know a family business, or if you're a member of a family business (yes, you can self-nominate), that is doing inspiring, innovative, and incredible things, please tell us about it. The process is completely free and there are no strings attached. The deadline to nominate is June 12, 2020Click here to nominate a family business today

Webcast recommendation

If you just want to listen to some good news, take 20 minutes to check out the webcast SGN (Some Good News)—a tribute to baseball, front-line essential workers, and good news from around the country. Listen here

How you can help others (without straining resources)

Submit a company video tour
Loyola's Quinlan School of Business is looking for virtual tours of plants and businesses to share in our online classrooms. Our partner center, Executive and Professional Education, would love to add these tours to their Master Class series curriculum. If you'd be willing to share a virtual tour of your company, please email JP Palmares.

Fill out a family business advocacy survey
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Family Enterprise USA help amplify the voice of your family business at local, state, and federal levels of government. They need to hear from you in order to advocate for businesses now and throughout this year. Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out the surveys below.

Join a talent sharing platform
People + Work Connect is an online employer-to-employer platform that enables companies to quickly identify and fill jobs in locations where there is need. It will give organizations that have open positions a view into the workforces available to fill those jobs, enabling companies that have available employees to help their people find new roles.  People + Work Connect is free, open to all industries, and available to companies with approximately 100 jobs to fill or 100 available workers to place.  Please check them out at the link below if you have roles to fill, have people to place, or simply want to be part of an effort to help people get back to work. Learn more about People + Work Connect

A few more resources

Prepare for recovery and a different future
Set some time and resources aside (30 min per week) to plan and prepare for recovery. Start here with a helpful article from HBR: Preparing your business for a post-pandemic world.

Business Leadership Hub is here to help
Many of our sister centers are offering resources and free webinars. Please take a minute to see what's available to you by visiting the Hub’s COVID-19 resource page.

If you are hitting the wall and need to talk please contact me by email or cell at 708-650-0645. Please stay safe and stay strong and thank you for everything you are doing to keep your business, family, employees, and yourself safe and secure.