Listen to “What Happens When a CEO Gets COVID-19… TWICE” on Spreaker.
What Happens When a CEO Gets COVID-19… TWICE…..
Exactly a year to the date he learned he had tested positive for the then-new COVID-19, Eric Yaverbaum found out he contracted the disease again – this time the B.1.1.7 variant. In March 2020, when the pandemic was just beginning and we still weren’t sure what we were grappling with, Eric began what would be a grueling 90 day battle with Covid-19. Confined to a bed for the first month, and then dealing with long-haul symptoms, lung damage, and requiring an oxygen tank for another two months, Eric found himself running his company while fighting for his next breath. So when the unthinkable happened and he got COVID-19 a second time, Eric knew the fight he had ahead of him and resolved himself to once again, keep breathing and get his company through to the other side. Two weeks ago, he began stringent quarantine, informed his clients, updated and reassured his team, and hunkered down to face the disease that a year ago had knocked him down for three straight months.
“Everything is more intense this time around. All of the symptoms came back faster and harder than before, but I know I’m going to get through this,” said Yaverbaum.
He is still managing his agency from his bed, responding to emails, swapping zooms for calls, and continuing to write his next book, The Audacity of Silver Linings, inspired by the hope that got him through his first round of COVID-19 and his company through the darkest days of the pandemic (with the wish that he can share that hope with others).
Already an expert on leadership and crisis communications – and author of industry-standard Public Relations for Dummies and bestseller Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOs – Eric learned a lot in real-time about leadership, managing a business through a crisis, and above all, the power of hope.
The disease has reinforced his belief that compassion and transparent and frequent communication are key aspects of crisis leadership. Being open about your own struggles and setbacks as a leader is vital when trying to stay connected in a world where we are actively reconfiguring how we connect and interact with each other.
New York Times bestselling author of seven books and CEO of Ericho Communications, Yaverbaum has been asked to speak on his experience leading a company while overcoming COVID-19 in Entrepreneur, PR Week, NY1, and more. Consistently, he cited hope as the only force willing him to feel better each day. Yaverbaum will be recounting his lifelong ability to look towards the bright side and his coronavirus recovery for his upcoming book The Audacity of Silver Linings, set to release in 2022.