refection and renewal

What a year!! 2020 is almost over… Like many of us, you’re likely going to stay up on New Year’s Eve just to make sure that old man 2020 is kicked out by a youthful and more hopeful 2021.

These holidays will be different — and very memorable! Hopefully, you’ll have some time to pull back to see the bigger picture. As I wrote in my blog post, Zoom Out to See Where You’re Going, this is a good time to downshift and pause. It’s the R & R that can bring us reflection and renewal.

As I reflect on over 50 blog posts of the past year, these standout as our most critical changes, challenges, and choices of this chaotic year. How we respond to turbulent change shows — yet again — that our success and happiness results not so much from what happens to us, but what we do about it.

  • Navigating Change: Leading in Turbulent Times — Sailing through life is easy when our seas are calm. It’s much tougher when clouds gather, and the gentle winds of change suddenly become a full-blown gale. I got very positive feedback on this webinar for a leadership development organization in our community.
  • Bounce Back: 9 Ways to Strengthen Resilience — In Japan, the Daruma Doll is a good luck charm with a rounded and weighted bottom. When knocked down, it bounces back upright. This ability to bounce back is a symbol of perseverance and good luck for the Japanese New Year. Bouncing back is vital to getting through tough times.
  • Leading the Way: 13 Approaches to Navigate Through the Storm — Even mediocre managers can get by during calm times. Today’s massive storm calls for strong leadership. The American Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather once observed, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Lots of leadership learning opportunities this year!
  • How the Pandemic Could Positively Reboot and Re-energize Our Organizations — We’re in the midst of one of the biggest disruptions of our lives. I’ve been a lifelong collector of failed (often hilarious) predictions and prophesies showing how uncertain life can be. At risk of joining the swelling ranks of failed forecasters (how many predicted the pandemic?), here are my thoughts/hopes of the good that could emerge.
  • Changing Our World: 5 Steps for Coming Out of Our Crisis — What’s your thinking on this pandemic? Is it a depressing disaster, or can we grow and become stronger? Professor Richard Tedeschi has been studying questions like this for decades. He shows how to grow after trauma.
  • Is What’s Missing/Throwing You Off Your Game? — Are you and your leaders leveraging your strengths? Don’t let a deeply conditioned focus on what’s wrong throw you.
  • Humankind: A Hopeful History — this is my top book pick of the year. My copy of this insightful new book is full of yellow highlights. See my review for the points that really stand out. I also published a blog with the book’s best thoughts that make you go hmmm…
  • Trust Matters: It’s Critical in These Disruptive Times — Is your organization suffering from truth decay? Honesty, integrity, and trust are critical in chaotic times. Are you widening or bridging your credibility gap? How do you know?
  • We Can’t Let the Pessimism Plague Infect Us as Well — Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge published a thought-provoking series of reflections from their professors and researchers on “How the Coronavirus Is Already Rewriting the Future of Business.” Here are a few leadership lessons that stand out.

Most Popular Social Media Posts of 2020

  1. Everything Starts with Trust
  2. Instead of Laying Off 20 Percent of His Company, This CEO Made an Unusual Decision. It’s a Lesson in Emotional Intelligence
  3. We Wait Too Long to Train Our Leaders | ZENGER FOLKMAN
  4. 10 Renowned Mindfulness, Meditation and Spiritual Teachers — and Specific Talks to Bring Calm Right Now | CBC Life
  5. Building Resilience

Oh No, Santa Lost a Ho!

 Even Santa’s challenged by this crazy year. Here’s my favorite Christmas song this year — Santa Lost a Ho.

17th century English poet, Edward Young, said, “They only babble who practice not reflection.” Yoda, the funny little Star Wars philosopher, and teacher would like how he phrased that sentence. So, as Yoda might say, here’s a great way to end 2020…babble, do not. Reflection guide you, it will, if you pause to see where going you are.