None of us thought we’d be socially/physically distancing in this new decade, and we know the current state of things impacts us all in large and small ways. All of a sudden, our lives feel a little more fragile and daily routines have turned upside down, with many implications on the horizon for the economy.

As a community, we’re keeping all those affected in our hearts and minds. While we know this year hasn’t been what we thought it would be, we’re reminded of one of the statements reflected in the Galileo Innovation Approach: we recognize setbacks as opportunities to learn. Simply put, the next several months will bring even more of these opportunities. We might also choose to look at this time as the redesign phase of the Innovator’s Process, and we wanted to share the skills we think might help, no matter what’s around the corner for you professionally.

In a recent blog post celebrating B Corp Month, we mentioned that Galileo is a place where leaders develop. When new HQ hires join our team, they’re excited to lean into a wide range of onboarding and training content, all designed to ensure we all have the same tools to be our best professional selves.

Here’s a sampling of concepts you can learn (or revisit) while you’re spending time at home.

Mind Like Water

Many of our partners and vendors are always surprised by how Galileans balance high productivity while having an incredibly fun time working together. For the last several years, arming new HQ hires with the concept of having a “mind like water” has been the secret.

This concept was featured in the book, Getting Things Done by David Allen. Allen describes having a mind like water as,  “a mental and emotional state in which your head is clear, able to create and respond freely, unencumbered with distractions and split focus.” To get incredible tools to apply to life and work, consider reading the book and/or checking out free resources offered on the GTD site.

Outcomes Before Methods

At Galileo, we talk about the power of the “OM.” OM being the practice of assessing your desired outcomes before defining and planning the methods you’ll use to achieve them. This approach came to us many years ago from Mimi Gordon, former Galileo leader and current (incomparable) coach, who first learned it at Camp Tawonga. In this short video, Mimi describes what it means to always start with your (or your group’s) outcome, and gives concrete examples of how you might approach anything from planning a party to a meeting to a trip to Albuquerque.

Refining Your Personal Brand

Building on the idea of outcomes before methods, it’s important to know that the story of 1) what you value and 2) what you want to do might change and grow as you do. As you assess your current goals and perspective, take an opportunity to draft (or revisit) your personal mission or brand statement.

Learn to Identify & Honor What YOU Need to be Successful

Knowing how to be your best professional self is different for everyone. Consider environments where you’ve shined and what made those situations or relationships so valuable. On the flip side, then identify ones that were consistently challenging, and what felt like it was missing. Often, knowing the factors that can make us more successful—early morning starts, enough exercise or sleep, our specific communication and learning styles— can be empowering. Then learning to honor those by clearly communicating them to our managers or those we work closely with can have incredible impact on setting work relationships up for success. You can even use outcomes and methods to think through this. Is it having time to process important information before replying to an email? Simply getting enough sleep? Do you need a brainstorm or accountability buddy? Know what you need to feel supported, then practice thoughtfully sharing that with others. 

Give & Receive Feedback Like a Pro

At Galileo, we believe the way we work together is as important as the work itself, and learning to engage in feedback is an invaluable tool—at work and beyond. Have something to say or what to become more comfortable giving feedback? Through her book, podcast and blog, Kim Scott explains the concept of Radical Candor, a feedback philosophy that empowers people to “care personally while challenging directly.”

Never Stop Learning

Remember your brand statement? Nurturing your curiosity and continuing to learn can be an awesome long-term move right now, especially in areas that are in line with and strengthen your personal brand. A great place to start while you’re spending time at home is this list of free online courses from Ivy League schools.


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