I sent a company-wide email shortly after the France terror attacks shook the world many months ago. And I found myself writing another one after the most recent attacks in Brussels. Even just this past weekend another attack took place in Pakistan and there are sadly many more that we don't hear about.
These incidents are incredibly unsettling for all of us, not to mention for those going through them.
As leaders we need to try as hard as we can to find balance. I found myself wondering: How do I address these events within Tangerine? Do I bring them up at all? How do I help our employees cope?
The fact is that while these events are taking place, we continue to run businesses and live our lives. For us at Tangerine, we were in the midst of putting the finishing touches on an exciting new product, our Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, and the product was to launch only a few days later. It was very important for me to acknowledge the team's dedication amid what was happening around us.
On that Tuesday morning we had a fruit punch toast with every employee in the bank to celebrate the team's achievement. While we raised our glasses, I could only think that this was a terrible time for celebration. The launch of a product in Canada seems small in comparison to such tragedies.
So that night I wrote the aforementioned all-employee email. I decided that the best plan of action is to acknowledge these horrific events, to share how I feel about them, invite others to discuss them and to help our employees better understand the balance their leaders try to keep.
Our new Credit Card is more than just a new product for us – it's an important step in our goal of helping Canadians live better financial lives and being a bigger part of their everyday lives. We are proud of the product we have been creating over the last few years. And my executive team and I are very proud of Team Tangerine and the resolve they've shown to meet expectations during these unsettling times.
Finding the right balance can be a difficult task for leadership in general. Add a few world tragedies, and you might sympathize with what Henry Kissinger once said: “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full."
Clearly we all know that life is unpredictable and busy, but with a little thoughtfulness and perspective, we can always help each other cope.