Are you ready for the new era? Here is how to win during and after #covid19

Are you ready for the new era? Here is how to win during and after #covid19 Are you worried about being terminated by your

Are you ready for the new era? Here is how to win during and after #covid19

Are you worried about being terminated by your employer during these tough coronavirus times, as companies downsize and cut costs? Do not worry. Read on.

I attended on a Zoom call today 22nd May 2020, hosted by the Provisional Rotary Club of Sunshine Nakasero, Kampala on the topic, “Preparing People for the New Era (post Covid19)”. The topic was ably presented by Mr. Paul Senyomo, CEO of Mercantile Credit Bank Ltd.

Below are the quick takeaways, I was able to summarize.  To get an editable copy in PPT of the full presentation, comment below with your email address. Otherwise, see at the end of this article, to download a PDF version.

If you want to be confident and win during and after the pandemic, read to the end of this article and this could be one of your best investments for your time today.

Here is Paul.

  1. In this covid19 era, planet earth has been closed off for repairs. After the lockdown, we shall have a permanent post-covid19 situation in the world.
  2. I started with that slide of mother earth having closed off for repairs. As someone who worked in cement manufacturing, we used to plan for plan maintenance. We would close the plant for over 30 days to allow the plant to renew. Mother Earth has now closed for repair, it is the first time in our lifetime. Also, this allows us to reflect, rejuvenate, and take advantage of what is emerging.
  3. For us to remain relevant, we need to re-skill ourselves to win in the post lockdown period. The most important thing for business today is the people. We need to ask ourselves, how prepared are we for the new mother earth that comes after lifting the lockdown. If we do not re-skill ourselves, we risk losing our relevancy.
  4. After the lockdown, we will not return to the old ways of doing things.
  5. If you look at the business entities, personnel costs are usually between 30% to 70%, of the total costs. The good thing with banking, we publish our accounts. If you checked, you would find the cost of personnel is very high. Every executive will first look at the personnel costs since it is a huge figure. Anything you reduce, you improve your bottom line. But the question as you cut the personnel cost, which specific staff do you terminate and why? On a personal level, you need to ensure you are positioned to safeguard yourself, and your lives. People are considered the most valuable assets of the whole company. But for us accountants, we know that people do not appear on the balance sheet? Maybe in the future, there will be a way of valuing people’s assets and including them on the balance sheet.
  6. Consider this: in Uganda, SMEs, employ about 75% of the total labor force. Why is this important? We are talking about the sustainability of businesses. And if many are affected by the pandemic and close, the unemployment level will increase.
  7. If you look at it from a global point of view, the world population is currently about 7.78 billion people, out of which over 65% are between the age of 15-64 years. If you are in that age group, you are affected by this pandemic in terms of keeping or finding a new job. This means you must be competitive to be hired. This calls for transforming yourself to win. Remember, with the elimination of boundaries across the world, it means you are competing with the rest of the world.  You must have a conscious effort to enhance your value creation.

Enter the new era

  1. If you have been listening to new talks and research papers. To win today, it is about a new normal – digitization. These have been massages coming to us – -we have been hearing about the fourth industrial revolution. Now covid19 has helped fast track digitalization. I have an interesting experience. One of our clients in telemedicine said before the covid19, it was a tall order telling people about telemedicine. Today, it is a different story. During the covid19, there has been an uptake by over 30% in terms of new customer and telemedicine adoption.
  2. Leadership has transformed. I can tell you with confidence, that some board members had never participated in a video virtual board meeting. But this has changed. Today, companies like Café Javas are more into logistics management. They are leveraging on technology to manage their orders and customers and win. They are collaborating with many people to win, and this is enabled by technology. Even board meetings today are done virtually. We see an increase in collaboration enabled by the new ecosystem. Today, over 65% of banking transactions are via digital channels. Time has changed suddenly. You must continuously ask yourself: how do I position myself to work in this new environment?

  3. There has been a change in how businesses do strategic planning. I read somewhere recently that “if you want a good comedy, get a company whose strategic plan was developed five years ago.” The rules of the game have changed. We must evolve our strategic plans. And adopt exponential thinking.
  4. We need to remember the powerful book by Spencer Johnson, “Who Moved My Cheese.” Your cheese is no longer where it has been. And most important, we need to reflect on the message by Peter Drucker.  “I no longer teach the management of people at work, which was one of my important courses. I no longer think that learning how to manage other people, especially subordinates, is the most important thing for executives to learn. Now I am teaching, above all, how to manage oneself.” Now we must learn how to manage ourselves. How do we position ourselves to win in fast-changing times like these? Remember, each one of us is the chief executive of our lives. You are the CEO of your life. The CEO of your family. A CEO of the people you support.
  5. Take a few minutes and look at the different kinds of people in the workplace and examine where you fall. Which quadrant do you fall?
    1. I drew up this matrix, to help you do a quick evaluation of where you fall. There are four categories of people. On the x-axis there is a level of satisfaction. And on the Y-axis, we have a level of loyalty.
    2. In the first quadrant, people’s satisfaction and loyalty are low. These are the Terrorists. These people need instructions. They will find a cup on the floor and will never pick it up. They will kill the business. They have negative energy. Always looking for excuses. They lack self-motivation. They have an entitlement mentality. They are a piece of baggage to the business. These are people who will come late to work. They will wait for instructions to do the same thing they were reminded to do yesterday.
    3. Then there are Hostages. These may have a high level of loyalty but have low levels of job satisfaction.  They lack any sense of innovation; they are just instruction takers. They do not think for themselves. Demotions rarely hurt them as long as they still have a job. They cannot see the signals for the need to reskill and become more relevant. Such people are characterized by low energy.
    4. Then we have Mercenaries. These have a high level of job satisfaction but lack loyalty for the organization. They are self-absorbed, will deliver the work but they do not care a lot about the business. Such people are results-oriented, energetic, may prefer individual working conditions, astute problem solvers, innovators, not interest in titles, dedicated follow-through, results for today are so key. Agile. Very good results, have positive energy, have access to knowledge sources, have access to knowledge sources/references, love recognition & guidance, etc.  Mercenaries are not bad people to have because if you have their self-interests at heart, you can get the most of them and win. They are very result oriented guys. They will ask questions. They love recognition. They know where to find information. You can classify them as good lawyers – a good lawyer is one who knows where to find the relevant or applicable law.
    5. Then there are the Apostles. These people have high loyalty to the company and career satisfaction. Results-oriented, problem solvers, Innovators, care little about titles, dedicated follow-through, focus on process improvement, Agile, best in class results, contagious positive energy, long term view of engagement with the entity of work, diversity of experience, undertake self-development, Absolute Personal Responsibility is their paradigm, emotionally intelligent. Etc. these people believe that the backstops with them. They think like the entrepreneur or business owner. They will never leave the light in a room in the evening when there is no one behind. They are that careful.

    6. Use the employee types matrix to self-evaluate, where do you fall in this matrix. I heard a few days ago. Rolls Royce released over 9,900 people. Surely, if the person is an Apostle, such an employee cannot be terminated because they are very valuable.

What do we expect?

  1. By the time, the lockdown ends, any businesses will have collapsed especially those in highly affected sectors like tourism-dependent businesses. Other businesses will be alive, but their continuity will depend on the quality of employees. How have they transformed to win in the new era?
  2. New businesses are being born and others have started. I read somewhere that every business is formed to solve a challenge. And the covid19 is a challenge for the world today. The journey starts with your personal resolution. Which skills are you investing now to win?
  3. It is George Washington who said, “your personal conviction to success is much more important than any other one thing.”
  4. The CEO of Nokia, in his last press conference speech as the company wound up said, “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost…” Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia. This means that doing the same things repeatedly, even if they brought success to you in the past cannot guarantee future success. You must be moving in the right direction. Transforming.
  5. And winning must be deliberate. You must undertake a personal agenda to develop. In the employee matrix, any staff in the left quadrant, cannot be continued by any leader looking at thriving. Everyone must be able to move to Mercenaries and Apostles. Every business is looking for an apostle. So, how do we move from the left to the right?

  6. If you are a Mercenary, you have the attributes people will be looking for. You need digital awareness – this must be a top agenda item. We must work in a world of change and win within the 4th Industrial Revolution times. How do we fill your cup? How do you enrich your skills to win in the new era? Coaches are no longer a cost but an investment. You must look for mentors that will help you become better. You must change your paradigm and look at things like training as opportunities to win. That is the investment that must be made. The company you work for must transform the customer experience. This is a different paradigm. Customers have noticed that they can stay home and get their services – so they will expect something like this. If you as an employee is not responsive to this new world order, you become a piece of baggage. Anyone who cannot carry their weight, cannot keep up with the rest for a long distance. They are left behind.
  7. The world is looking for leaders without titles. We are looking at the mindset of a CEO – as in the ultimate owner. You take absolute personal responsibility. You cannot say that, I am a janitor; therefore, I cannot work on that. You must be self-driven and push yourself to win. Have an entrepreneurship mind. The entrepreneurship mindset is different. They are inspired by change. They are looking for new opportunities to win at the company and home. Whereas the employee is looking at the next salary, the entrepreneur is looking at the opportunities and how to win.

  8. Look at the value addition. What is the cost to run the business? Do we get a return? We need to see the results divided by the resources we put in such that the outcome justifies the investment to win.
  9. A very good book, As A Man Thinketh, James Allen, has a quote “People are anxious to improve on their circumstances, but they are not focusing on improving themselves”. That is a powerful point, I want you to take today. If you are going to win during and after this pandemic, take a deliberate effort to win. Read. Improve.

So how do we enhance our value?

  1. The secret to your success is continuous improvement. You need to change your daily habit. The University College of London released research that says that ‘You need about 66 days to change your habit from the bad habits to good habits.’ This transition involves going through stages of “destruction” of current habits, then “integration” of new habits, and finally, the “optimization stage” before you reach the point of automaticity for the new habit. The habits that will enable you to win include – to ensure that you keep healthy. Have a good diet, exercise, sleep, follow the guidelines to keep yourself well. You are working well so that you stay alive and enjoy the results of your work. You must undertake self-evaluation – of your mind (thoughts), body (health) and soul (ego), and heart (emotion). Take an ongoing analysis of your career success.
  2. Learn, unlearn, re-learn, and learn again because the world is evolving. Our language and reflections has to reflect positivity. We need to reconstruct our language. What are the opportunities here? And how do I reposition my self to win?
  3. We need to enrich our networks. We need great mentors, coaches, seminars, and conferences. The mentors may help improve you due to intelligence questioning. Be a thorough time manager. How do you manage your 24 hours? God was so good that he gave each one of us the same 24 hours in a day.
  4. It is very important to prepare a personal work plan. We must come up with a personal plan and write it down. We must continuously review it, measure progress and improve. We must keep our plans relevant.
  5. I began by saying mother earth took leave, for repair. Also, we must step aside and take a small break to renew and regenerate ourselves. You can have a day when you do not look at your mobile gadget (“device-off day”).

The wheel of life

  1. For each of these lines from the center put a scale of numbers from 1 to 10 and then plot where you rate yourself, along with all these areas on the wheel of life. After plotting, join the plotted points and examine if what you get is a proper wheel. There is nothing bad, as doing that so efficiently that which should not be done at all. Stop focusing on a few things and forget to balance other critical things for your life.

In conclusion,

  1. “In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me an invincible summer and that makes me happy for it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there is something stronger, something better pushing right back”, Elon Musk.
  2. Each one of us is born a genius. We may have stored our genius in the cupboard, you must go now and open it, and get your genius back. I leave you with this quote “whatever you do, be so great at what you do that no one can take their eyes off you.”

To get a copy of the full presentation in the editable PPT version, comment below with your email address. Otherwise, Rotary-Club-Sunshine-_Winning-in-the-New-ERA-post-Covid19-by-Paul-Senyomo.pdf (112 downloads )

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.


  • Joseph Mutumba

    Great input and thanks for sharing. I need to work on my personal Strategy now.

    I will be glad to get a copy of this input by email.

    God bless.

  • Joseph Mutumba

    Great input. Thanks for sharing. I need to work on my personal Strategy or at least to formally out it down.

    I will be glad to have a copy of this input by email.

  • Joseph Mutumba

    This is a great and timely input. I need to work on my personal Strategy…

    I will therefore be glad to get a copy by email.
    God bless.

  • Joseph Mutumba

    This is a great input and thanks again for sharing. I need to work on my personal Strategy henceforth. I therefore request to get a copy by email.
    God bless.

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