The 2020 year has been a rough year for most leaders (ok, everyone). From a higher-than-normal number of wildfires, police killings, racial injustice, riots that disturbed entire cities, an historic presidential election battle, and of course the spread of COVID-19 and the ongoing impact it has left on individuals and business. Either you and/or someone you know was impacted by 2020. It has not stopped with the end of 2020. 2021 started out just as rough as 2020 with the riots around and inside the U.S Capital in Washington DC on January 6th, 2020.
These times can bring the positive also if you are looking for it. It takes shifting our focus from the negative or bad situation to the positive. Here are 3 gifts 2020 (and beyond) brought leaders. Let’s learn from these gifts in our current national situation and into any other future crisis or challenging times.
1. The Gift of Time
Time is one of the most valuable assets. Leaders are often going from one task or appointment to the next from the time they wake up until the late hours of the evening. This all changed in 2020 when we have had to put a pause on our normal activities like commuting to work, attending unproductive meetings, being stuck at the office until the workday is finished, and unnecessary social events. Less time doing normal activities like these have caused us to have more time.
Wise leaders saw this as a gift and have taken advantage of it. They have had the opportunity to spend more time with family, engage in self-care, making personal phone/video calls to team members to better build a rapport with them, and readjust their focus on their core areas of job expectations so they are continuing to produce the highest return in their leadership role. When we have more time, it would be wise if we also took advantage of any extra time focusing on the above areas.
2. The Gift of Resilience
President of World Psychiatric Association Helen Herrman stated,
“Definitions have evolved over time but fundamentally resilience is understood as referring to positive adaptation, or the ability to maintain or regain mental health, despite experiencing adversity.”
2020 brought unique challenges and adversity to most leaders. Unfortunately, some leaders have broken under the stresses and challenges of 2020 while others have used this pressure to grow and become even stronger leaders. Resilience allows you to go through a painful or highly stressful situation or session (most of 2020 for many) and come out better on the other side.
Leaders who have learned from, adapted, and continued to make progress forward during these changing times have grown their resilience. Through these uncertain and turbulent times, remember to keep moving forward in the right direction and continue to do your personal best.
3. The Gift of Learning
Leaders who lead during any major organizational crisis or national pandemic like we have seen from the COVID-19 spread have required new levels of learning. We can’t expect to continue moving forward in our leadership if we are not willing to learn. 2020 brought leaders the gift of learning. Leaders have had to learn new systems and approaches to leading. Let us break each those two areas down.
Learn new systems
We live in digital world however some leaders have not had to take advantage of the digital technology until the COVID-19 outbreak. I’ve seen industries needing to quickly learn and implement new systems, mainly involving telecommunication to facilitate video calls and meetings, to remain connected with their employees and clients. Leaders need to continue to personally learn these new systems so they can remain connected and engaged with the people they lead.
Learn new approaches to leading
Abnormal times requires leaders to lead differently. Leaders have had to shift their approach to leading in order to continue to influence the people they lead. The leadership approaches of walking through the halls or taking time to listen to your people in the break room can’t happen when everyone is working remotely. Leaders need to adjust their normal approaches to remain closely connected the people on their team, even more with the key staff members.
Learning new systems and approaches to leading requires us to engage in a personal growth plan. One aspect that I left out in the gift of time is that we now can spend some of our extra time focusing on personal growth. Let us never forget, growing and evolving leaders will always influence others and produce desirable results.
Question: What positive gifts did you receive in 2020?
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