How 2021 is different from 2020 for leaders

by | Dec 28, 2020 | CEO/Executive Directors, Focus, Organizational Leadership | 0 comments

As we enter the last week of 2020, I’ve been thinking about how weird our conception of time is.

Good-bye 2020

Pretty soon, 2020 will be in the past. It’s amazing to see how many people are excited by this. I’ve seen posts celebrating the end of 2020 for weeks now.

But do you know what comes after December 31, 2020?

It’s just a new day. The pandemic is still raging. The economy is still weird. Racial inequity still exists. Renters still face eviction and landlords are struggling to get paid. Small businesses are still struggling to survive. Nonprofits still need to raise funds.

What makes 2021 better

So many of us went into 2020 with big dreams. Only to have them dashed as a coronavirus ravaged people around the globe. The fear and uncertainty was palpable. Entire industries were upended.

For the first time in many of our careers as leaders, we could be honest and say, “I don’t know” without any shame.

Much of all that is still the same today. Here in the United States, the pandemic is “ongoing, widespread, and not contained.” And likely to get worse in 2021.

What makes 2021 better is that we know what we’re facing.

  • We know there’s a pandemic.
  • We know there is a bad economy.
  • We know what to do if we have to work remotely.
  • Many more realize that racial inequality isn’t just “a few bad apples” but is deeply embedded in entire systems.
  • And we know more clearly that small businesses and nonprofits are vital parts of caring for our communities.

And, as GI Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

While we as leaders still struggle with doubt, many of us have adapted to changing work environments. And have adjusted messaging. And have developed plans for things like layoffs and budget cutting.

So 2021 will be brighter

So as we go into the new year, I do think 2021 is brighter. And I think we’ll see the resilience we’re learning pay off in multiple ways. Especially as things smooth out with the vaccines (even if that won’t be for many months now).

What will you leave in 2020?

So as we reflectively move forward, what are you doing to leave in the past?

  • What have you stopped doing in the last ten months that you do not need to start doing again?
  • What metrics were you tracking that you realize you no longer need to track?

And what new habits will you want to make sure you continue?

  • What new focus do you now have that will continue serving you well?
  • What metrics do you think are more helpful for you and your team?

Let us know in the comments!



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