Contemplation, but only well dosed, please – that applied to the Christmas letter that I have been writing to my employees in December for almost two decades. Because normally my letter was barely a page. Because I’m usually the sober North German type. But what does normal mean at the moment?
So this year my Christmas letter has become a little longer. Because I needed more space to express my gratitude. “Gratitude?” Perhaps you too have just paused and thought: “What is he doing as an entrepreneur in this $ XY!? &! Corona year grateful? “
I’ll tell you what it is – and why it will inspire my company in the future. Then maybe you can understand me better – and possibly also look at this year differently yourself.
Don’t let this take you away!
I think that in the past few weeks a mood has arisen (not to say: has been made) as if the contemplative time around Christmas had been canceled due to the corona.
But we, as entrepreneurs, shouldn’t let this time of reflection be missed. We urgently need them, because Corona gives us a unique opportunity – in two ways. On the one hand, Corona relentlessly reveals what was already in trouble before Corona. Thanks to the crisis – as you could read in my last column.
On the other hand, Corona also makes visible what is already really Wow! was. In fact, entrepreneurs are often less aware of this than of what is going badly.
The subject of my wow! Effect this special year was – my co-workers. I have never realized how important they are for my company and how much I can rely on them. And I am sure that this is also the case with many other medium-sized entrepreneurs – even if they do not notice it for lack of reflective time.
Wow – you are really strong!
In any case, I find it remarkable and strong how my employees rocked the crisis. How they dealt with all the problems, the limitations, the insecurities, the fears and still deal with them. With short-time work, with home office. And homeschooling sounds so easy. But if you have children of your own, you know: Holla, the forest fairy!
My employees not only exchange money for working time, they also identify with the company. They are concerned about the continued existence of the company, they are committed because the future of the company is important to them, because they are interested in the customers.
Dear employees: You are so strong! You are my best allies at this time! And a great reward!
The best reward!
For me, this solidarity in the company is pretty much the best entrepreneur’s salary that I can imagine. I feel very grateful for that.
Obviously, this is also due to our work environment, in which not only the result but also the experience counts. My employees don’t just want to take work, they also want to give heart and soul and creativity. You successfully fill the managerial and specialist roles so that I can concentrate on my entrepreneurial role. We have grown together and together: Corona has shown the attitude my employees take. And that is not the victim attitude.
That makes me optimistic people look even more optimistic about the future: Because we cannot change the circumstances, the crisis, the Corona – the difference is made by the attitude. It gives us the power and the ability to make the most of any situation. It will continue to inspire the success of my company in the future.
Inspired the new year
Yes, 2020 was a bad year in many ways. Exhausting. Going to the kidneys. And unfortunately also painful. But since Corona will not prevent me from reflecting on the positive, as an entrepreneur I feel richly gifted this Christmas. And go into the new year in good spirits.
And it’s not just my employees who make me happy: our customers also stick with us. As a partner in Corona too. They showed us their genuine interest in looking for opportunities for the present and the future together.
The solidarity that I felt this year is what makes a life worth living in community possible for me. If we really want and cultivate this solidarity, then we will not only survive the crisis, but will be able to use it for ourselves. With this in mind, I’m looking forward to the future. And that I can do that is: Wow! Can you understand now why I am so grateful?
In any case, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Work and a Happy New Year! Your Timo Kaapke
Timo Kaapke is an entrepreneur, diver, author, keynote speaker and a sought-after sparring partner for medium-sized companies throughout Germany. In his book “Creating Happy Things: How I found out what an entrepreneur really is”, he takes entrepreneurs on a deep dive into a world of work in which “creating happy things” is not a contradiction in terms. In his new book “Thank you for the crisis” he shows how important it is for medium-sized entrepreneurs in particular to see the Corona crisis as an opportunity.