What Will It Take to Lead in 2021?
Leadership and leadership expectations have changed this year. Depending on your point of view, it’s a good thing — “evolutionary,” “overdue,” “necessary change” — or a bad thing — “total disruption,” “lasting implications,” “now what?”
In the absence of concrete information, which may still be a year away, and facing an indefiniteness that we likely haven’t encountered before, what questions are vital?
What can we ask of ourselves as leaders to bolster our resilience, plan more successfully, improve our leadership (and our results), and take better care of our current employees, clients, and customers?
1. What if it was easy?
I think that we all can agree that this year was hard. But what if it didn’t have to be? What if we didn’t resist what is or mourn what isn’t or felt frustrated with the changes?
What if we flowed with it, stayed the course, and reminded ourselves of all that is good, all that we have, and the unimaginable resources at our disposal, and let go of the struggle?
2. What if it isn’t broken?
You’ve probably vacillated all year long about what’s possible, what’s going to happen, what the implications are, and what the lessons might be, but have you also wondered what if it was meant to be?
What if it wasn’t a broken system or a systemic failure or a lack of leadership, but just an inevitable outcome? What if that acceptance frees you up to stop judging and simply learn, grow, and move on?
3. What if we don’t have to have all the answers?
As leaders, it’s easy to feel as if we must know to influence the direction or at least set the tone, but sometimes, we face something so much bigger than ourselves that it takes a consensus, no a community, to proceed.
That’s not to say we need a majority or that everyone’s opinion or input is equally valid. Still, there’s solidarity in deciding the next steps, even long-term strategies, together. Come together.
4. What if this is the new normal?
As irritating as that phrase is, it paints a picture, doesn’t it? Of irreversibility? Of finality? Of fissure or a fork in the road or a pivot = what was, will no longer be, and what is, is different. So, do we agonize over the changes or retool our strategies or find acceptance?
What if we approached change like we do with our children? Fleeting stages, dramatic shifts, new skills, new intimacy, new challenges, but an inescapable and invigorating part of life?
5. What if this is an opportunity to reevaluate everything?
There’s been some buzz about this being not just a pivotal moment in modern history but in the trajectory of humanity and in our relationship with Mother Nature. Whoa.
Not to go too far out there, but, but, what if you took a deep breath and some still moments to reflect and reevaluate the path you were on, the direction you were leading your team, family, business, or organization, and looked more broadly and further out? How could you use this transformative momentum to your advantage?
6. What if better business was secondary to better living or even a better planet?
Leadership usually fits the context of business, or perhaps academia or politics. But there’s a groundswell of leadership happening globally in pockets and subsets that are non-traditional too.
What if you enlarged your vision to consider your brand at every touchpoint and used it as a force for good and extraordinary impact beyond business? What if your employees were empowered and passionately motivated to contribute at higher levels? What if you inspired your clients and customers to live better lives and made it more within reach?
7. What if __________________ (fill in the blank).
Think of a question — go with your instinct, then press yourself to stretch even further — that you could ask yourself that would change the game, enhance your accountability, and be a catalyst for an evolutionary leap?
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Don’t miss your chance to create a better reality.