The Safeguard Global offices may be empty, but our employees are still working, albeit remotely, to serve our customers.
I can’t help thinking of Charles Dickens’ legendary opening in “A Tale of Two Cities”: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”
What most do not often quote is the rest of that opening: “… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity …”
It is in times like these, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we see the best, and unfortunately, sometimes the worst in humankind. I couldn’t be more proud to say that when it comes to Safeguard Global, I have seen only the best.
It is in these times that I think about how to protect the best of Safeguard Global: our employees, our clients and our shareholders. In times of radical change, there is only one approach to protecting what we hold dear, and that’s clear and decisive action.
Action and learning beats waiting and hoping every time
At Safeguard Global, we began contingency planning immediately. We started with the health and safety of our employees—because without them, we are nothing.
Knowing the situation was (and is) extremely fluid, we established a task force in order to react to new information as it was presented. We extended a second tier of that task force that reports in from our offices around the world.
We have published regular communications to our employees, customers and partners, and we are especially pleased to say we are prepared, with very little disruption or change to our business.
Decide before the market decides for you
We have seen unprecedented shifts in our economic markets. I am having the same discussions with my leadership team that our client leaders are having about their businesses.
It’s our belief that our speed to act and do the right thing for our business is of utmost importance. Every day we wait, the less control we have. It’s important to draft mitigation plans for volatile markets before volatile markets take your business places you don’t want it to go.
Take care of clients and they will take care of you
I am constantly surprised how the very experiences I am having enable me to empathize with our clients and help craft the ways we as a company deliver value to them in their times of need. There is no doubt in my mind we can help. The balance on how you manage your employees around the world is critical.
Our interests are in the health of our clients' businesses, not in being opportunistic. We are authentic in our desire to help, and we believe that helping one another is the path to all boats rising.
Keep calm and carry on … or forge ahead
These are trying times, and it can be difficult to focus. We at Safeguard Global remain committed to providing the leadership our clients and employees need to navigate and adapt.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t share some trepidation, but I emphatically refuse to allow this situation to change our mission. If anything, I am more resolute than ever. Nothing will stop us from helping our employees and our clients.
Later in Dickens’ opening passage he writes, “…we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” I don’t share my countryman’s partial pessimism.
I, for one, know we have everything before us.