While many negative aspects surround COVID-19, it’s important to acknowledge the positives. PipeSearch co-founder, Cole Patchell, shares some of his takeaways on the current state of the industry and potentially lasting effects of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 and the dramatic impact of our global economy has shown the fragility of industry, the world, and overall life. It does not matter what language you speak, where you are from, or what you believe in – life has changed. Instead of focusing on the negative impacts of COVID-19, I want to highlight some of the positive things being accelerated by the global pandemic.
Many people do not spend enough quality time with family. Stability at home is key for the development of children, and instrumental in cultivating productive societies. I know not every home situation is the same, but stability at home is where many find love and happiness. COVID-19 has forced us to be home more than normal, and hopefully, all have had a little more of each.
We will ALWAYS need oil & gas products for medicines, vitamins, cosmetics, refrigerators, tires, and a long list of other products we depend on daily. I have spent my whole career in the oil & gas industry. Unfortunately, we are polluting our world at a concerning rate. I am not convinced water or solar is the long-term sustainable solution, but I am convinced COVID-19 has pushed people to do things differently. I personally believe that COVID-19 and the oil market collapse will drive more energy industry change in the next 5 years than the previous 20 years and our world will benefit from that change.
The world around us is fragile. We naturally rally around people who understand our pains and show compassion.
Vulnerability: This is a topic leaders have historically avoided as it showed “weakness”. Now we have leaders like BP’s Bernard Looney speaking openly about struggles within life and work, like in this video interview. Being vulnerable is a fact of life, and it is easy to identify with that.
Compassion: Just because you have made money does not mean you have to give it away. Thank you to Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, and the thousands of less-known heroes for stepping up in a time of need to contribute resources for a greater good. I hope that your servant leadership and compassion are a trend we see continue from all leaders.
Women in Leadership: There has been a lot written about female leadership in a time of crisis. Gender equality is not something that can be forced. Real power comes from inspiration. The work of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on full display, and the world notices. The New York Times highlighted some of these points in this article. Your work and inspiration will create a better tomorrow.
Face it. We all work too much. We get so wrapped up in arbitrary deadlines and never-ending meetings. We lose countless hours every week commuting to work by car, bus, train, or even plane. Do we all really need to be in the office daily? I have worked from home for the last 10 weeks and have felt more inspired than ever before. I have reclaimed those lost 5 hours per week to spend time with family, enjoying hobbies, and resting. YES, resting. It is not realistic for everyone to work from home, but not everyone is going back to the office. More innovation will come from this freedom.
This is the most complex topic of them all, but it is also the most important. History has shown racism has been around for thousands of years. It is deeply ingrained in many aspects of culture and life all over the world. Times of despair often force us to question what is right and what is wrong in life. Racism is unequivocally wrong, and the world has ignored this too long. If there is any single silver lining in COVID-19, it is that this time of despair has helped accelerate and unify frustration over injustice. There is a lot of work left to do, but I am encouraged to see brothers and sisters of every race standing up together and saying enough is enough.
Ultimately, we a choice to blame others for the situation we are in, or we can use this time to re-center ourselves and our life. There is no doubt COVID-19 will leave global pain and sadness, but I hope we will be better coming out of this than before. We are already seeing some bright spots and that gives me confidence in tomorrow’s world."
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