by Maggie Chan Jones

We are in an unprecedented period of our lifetimes.  I have so much gratitude for people in healthcare, public service and essential businesses around the world who are risking their own health to help others fight the coronavirus during this pandemic.  Many of my friends and colleagues, like myself, are thinking how we can help.  One of my dear friends, a high school teacher in NYC, is delivering food to elders in her neighborhood.  As someone with asthma since childhood, anything but self-isolation with family is out for me.  BUT, I can certainly mentor others while keeping my social distance.  I know many people are worried about not just the coronavirus but how to navigate this turbulent time both professionally and personally.  So, this past weekend, I picked up my phone and texted a few executive leaders and asked if they’re open to joining me in volunteering our time to mentor others during this situation, and they texted a few others.  Within hours, we have enough mentors to conduct one-on-one mentoring sessions for 100 people, for free!

For many, this may even be your first massive change or experience with a major economic downturn.  With Tenshey’s mission to advance gender diversity in the workplace, I’m even more empathetic to those who have to juggle between caring for kids and your family while trying to maintain a productive work life at home.

In brainstorming with my good friend Zarina Stanford, we came up with 5 mentoring topics below, which we have found to be top of mind for many individuals and teams we have spoken with recently.

  • Practicing positive thinking in uncertain times.
    • Focus on the future – this too shall pass
    • Celebrate small and big wins – getting kids ready for online school is a win on its own.
  • Leading teams through volatility
    • Kindness and compassion always win
    • Get into a routine – order our chaos to rest
  • Staying connected while keeping the distance
    • We’re in this together – you are not alone
    • Panic doesn’t solve the problem – so don’t.
  • Innovating in an ambiguous environment
    • Innovate while “fire-fighting” at work
    • Leaders lead and make critical decisions in these uncertain times
  • Mastering the art of (over)communications
    • Even when you feel like you’re over-communicating, you are probably not
    • Orchestrating teamwork while all working virtually require clear and concise communications

Our executive mentors come with significant experience across biotech, fintech, airlines, consumer goods, financial services, entrepreneurship, and with roles in general management, marketing, sales, hr, and technology.  Thank you to the mentors Cindy Bates, Lucy Chan, Sotis Dramalis, Bogdan Grigore, Hernan Marino, Mark Mitchell, Brian Pasalich, Penny Delgadillo Valencia, Nic Versloot, and Zarina Stanford, who are volunteering their valuable time for this cause.

We’re in this together. If you’re interested in becoming either an Executive Mentor or a Mentee for our free #mentoringfromhome initiative, use this link to sign up and our team at Tenshey will match you.