Thoughts on the Pandemic and Groundhog Day

The past year has been crazy, don’t you think? For some it has been one big Groundhog Day—you might remember the movie with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Murray woke up every day, reliving the previous over again.

I, for one, have described the past year as one big groundhog day for me. Get up, have breakfast, go to the office, go home, watch TV. Get up the next day and repeat. For others, it has been a new source for growth. Learning how to adapt, how to do more remotely, how to be more accepting of others. That is what I have heard from some executives.

So I am in the repeater camp. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite things I have said before (groundhog statements of sorts):

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  • The best vendor account managers are those who are interested in the success of a company or LP program and not just interested in selling. They are interested in the person. They share their company’s agenda and future plans. They return calls quickly and respond to the needs of the customer. The bottom line is that the little things mean a lot in being the best.
  • People who consistently win do it with passion. They get excited about what they are doing. They have become passionately invested in the journey, the goal, and thrive on it all. For those people, the pursuit of their goal is not work; it is not tiring. It is fun and intriguing. Their passion is contagious. Those around them begin to share in their excitement.
  • It is true that your career will be shaped by your surroundings—by the character of the people with whom you come in contact. But how do you know you are with the “right people?” I use a very simple rule: They make me feel good, positive, and upbeat, and I have no fear of what they might do in our relationship. I trust them.
  • Ever wonder why some people just seem to get a lot of pats on the back? How some people have a reputation for being a person who knows how to get things done? There are many LP folks who fit these descriptions; maybe you are one of them. They are people who approach each day in a positive state of mind. They love the challenge of what to do. They realize that they can mess up or be rejected. Their persistence to succeed removes the fear of failure.

The Mystery Revealed

Lastly here is a story that depicts what the pandemic has been. Called “The Mystery Revealed,” it goes like this (adapted from Random House Book of Jokes and Anecdotes).

After years of a fast-paced job, Dustin sold his house, gave away all his possessions, and set out to discover the meaning of life. He meditated, fasted, chanted, grew a beard—you name it—in hopes of gaining insight and wisdom.

One day he read about a wise man who lived in a remote mountain village in some faraway country. The wise man had been extolling his philosophy to pilgrims for decades. So Dustin flew to the country and hired guides to help him locate the mountain. The guides took him to the base of the mountain and told him he’d have to go the rest of the way by himself. After two days of climbing, Dustin finally reached the small shack that the sage called home. The wise man was seated outside smoking a primitive-looking pipe.

“I have given up all of my worldly possessions and traveled halfway around the world to reach you,” said Dustin. “I seek your wisdom in answering the question—what is the secret of life?”

The sage looked deep into Dustin’s eyes and said, “Life is a stream.”

“What? I came all of this way, and that’s all you’ve got to say?”

“Okay, okay,” the sage said in an affected New York accent. “Life is not a stream.”

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