Employee Owner Spotlight

John McCarthy

Hey everybody, I’m John McCarthy—Bayview Operations Manager for Southern California. A few months ago, I accepted a nomination from Bayview’s executive leadership team to represent the Southern California Branch on the Bayview Board of Directors. First and foremost, I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity, but I’ve got to be honest, this is not the letter that I originally sat down to write. Many of you already know me, but for those of you who don’t—I joined the Bayview team shortly after the company opened the Southern California office in 2018. Prior to joining Bayview, I had a 16-year career working for the federal government—first as an active duty member of the U.S. military and later as a civilian. During the past couple years, I’ve witnessed the SoCal branch turn its hard work into a period of significant growth—and due to recent events, namely COVID-19, we’ve all experienced some pretty radical and unexpected change—for the branch, for our company and within our communities. I wanted to use this moment to briefly introduce myself, but more importantly—given the current state of affairs—I feel like it might be more helpful to acknowledge some of the challenges that we face as a company and provide some insight into the ways our organization is continuing to learn and adapt to our new reality.

“Plan the flight and fly the plan. But don’t fall in love with the plan. Be open to a changing world and let go of the plan when necessary so that you can make a new plan. Then, as the world and the plan both go through their book of changes, you will always be ready to do the next right thing.”
Laurence Gonzales,
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

I’m not sure how you feel—but so far, 2020 hasn’t really worked out the way I’d planned. Many of the personal goals I’d set for myself and for the SoCal organization are no longer viable—and I’m not ashamed to admit that. In fact, I’ll go further to say that in my personal experience, recognizing and letting go of unrealistic goals and/or obsolete plans is absolutely essential to safe and effective crisis management. So here we are, a little over half-way through the year and this is already one of the most challenging years in recent memory. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world almost overnight—and as of this writing, it has claimed an estimated 200,000 lives in the US and 966,000 lives globally. The economic impact has been equally severe—with 27-million people out of work in the US—a 1500% increase from the same time last year. The resulting social, economic and public health crisis has created unprecedented challenges for federal, state and local governments as well as organizations and employers of every size, worldwide. Some of us have lost friends and family—most of us have felt the economic impacts. So far, compared to companies of similar size, across various industries, Bayview has done a pretty exceptional job in mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 to our business operations. But we’re not out of the woods and our continued success will undoubtedly require further adaptation. As we learn more about this disease, it remains critical that the most important decisions for our company—those decisions that impact the health and safety of Bayview employees and their families will continue to be informed by state and local health guidance and made in close consultation with our regional management, our safety professionals and our leaders in the field.

In addition to managing risk and adapting our business strategy, we recognize that our employees and their families may be experiencing heightened stress and anxiety during this time and balancing the strains of normal life during this crisis has been difficult for us all. One of the most effective ways we can support our employees and our families during times of hardship is to listen. If you’ve spent any time studying the common traits of high-functioning teams—whether you look at elite sports teams, special operations units or successful corporations—the best teams understand that effective communication must function both ways—and within Bayview, consistent, frequent, and transparent communications will continue to be essential to our organization’s success. These are uncertain and unprecedented times and we still have a difficult road ahead of us, but I’m proud of the way our company and our employees have responded to this crisis—and despite the difficult circumstances, we’re doing some of our best work and we’re still growing as a company. If we can continue to learn and listen and take care of each other, I genuinely believe that we’ll emerge from this crisis as a stronger, more agile and resilient organization. Sending my best to you and your families. Stay safe, everyone.