By Richie Burke Contributor Published Oct 08, 2020 at 5:01 PM

Right now, 42 percent of the American workforce is working from home. Twenty-six percent are still going to their places of work. Thirty-three percent aren’t working at all.

Stress from the unusual circumstances mean anxiety and depression are on the rise, with 53 percent of Americans reporting their mental health has been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

As we can all attest to, these last seven months have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced.

So, when it comes to business, how do you continue to lead, build culture and, if you’re lucky, grow during this environment? With so much uncertainty in the economy and so many people working from home, is it possible for business to thrive?


Recently, on The GoGedders Podcast, I had two successful CEOs on. They’re doing their best to lead their companies during these unprecedented times – and succeeding against the odds.

Hector Colon, the CEO of Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and former World Champion boxer, was one of our guests. In 2017, when he inherited an organization that was losing about $2 million annually, he certainly had his work cut out for him. Yet, when he accepted the role, he was able to turn a profit during his first year at the helm. The following year? A $2.5 million profit. 

That successful run was in danger when COVID hit. 

“It was devastating – if we didn’t make changes, we were projected to be $3.6 million in the hole.” 

Hector and LSS had to adapt, make changes and innovate. This meant executives taking pay cuts, furloughing 60 individuals and creating new products – mostly in the telehealth space. While making those decisions was difficult, the cuts and nimble pivot allowed them to keep helping thousands of individuals. At the time of writing, LSS is expected to have another profitable year, avoiding the initial $3.6 million red projection.

Mike Victorson, CEO of M3 Insurance, has been with M3 for 28 years. And though he won’t take credit, he’s played a pivotal role in the company’s success, growing it into the largest independent broker in Wisconsin and hitting the top 50 in the U.S.

On the podcast, he spoke about M3’s adjustments in the wake of COVID-19. In the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of their team began to work remotely, and the reduction in face-to-face meetings with customers was a challenge – but they’re adapting daily to ensure their highly collaborative and team-oriented workplace stays lively and productive.

M3 has found new ways to work together to serve their customers and recently launched their COVID-19 Business Resources Portal. The portal provides tips, articles and varied resources to help companies and individuals with culture, community, safety, work environments and management during this time.

On this week’s podcast, you’ll hear more from Vic and Hector about how they’ve built culture and values in their organization. They’ll also give advice on how to stay productive and keep your mental and physical health up, keep morale high in the workplace, and even give tips on getting hired, noting what they look for in team members.

This week’s episode is packed with useful content, so be sure to tune in.