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10 Sips of Lemonade from the Giant Lemon that was 2020

Looking back on 2020 brings up all kinds of emotions. Grief. Anger. Relief that it’s over. But what about curiosity? What can we learn from a year that made grocery shopping seem terrifying and a day at the office seem like a warm, friendly, life-affirming experience?

Here are ten hard-won realisations we can take with us into 2021 and beyond.

1.   Good Leaders Cut Themselves Some Slack.

2020 may have left you doubting yourself as a leader. People came to you with tough questions and you didn’t have the answers. But neither did anyone else – so cut yourself some slack. You deserve it – and being gentle with yourself will help you to have empathy for your people.

2.   Authenticity Is Key.

You may have noticed in 2020 that some people underwent a personality change when their “office” personas fell away. Others remained the same as ever, on Zoom or in person. That’s because those people were authentic. The way they acted wasn’t an act. Take a leaf out of their book and be yourself if you want people to feel a real connection with you.

3.   A Friend in Need Is A Friend Indeed.

We’ve all needed help at some point in 2020. We’ll all remember who was there for us when the lemons hit the fan – and who wasn’t. Who showed up for you, and who needs you to show up for them in 2021?

4.   A Crisis Really Is an Opportunity.

The idea that the Chinese character for “crisis” means “danger and opportunity” is a myth, but the idea behind it is real. For many companies and entrepreneurs, COVID has been an opportunity for tremendous innovation. What possibilities can you see for yourself? Could you start a new career or a new company?

5.   Keep Calm and Carry On.

And if you can’t manage that, panic and carry on, 2020 has proved that this is business advice worth its weight in gold. What’s the best next step you can take right now?

6.   Manage Your Energy.

A short-term crisis is energising. A long-term one is grindingly exhausting. Pick your battles and treat your energy as your most precious resource. What can you say no to today?

7. “Faith Is Being Sure of What We Hope for And Certain of What We Do Not See.” – St. Paul

Faith doesn’t have to be religious. Believing in yourself and those around you can be more than enough to keep you hoping when you can’t see any light on the horizon. Who in your circles strikes you as faithful and hopeful? What can you learn from them?

8.   Science and Knowledge Matter.

Historically, people have relied on the wisdom of elders who could pass on knowledge learned from experience. We either need to find experienced mentors or really do the research necessary to gather knowledge for ourselves.

9. Live in The Moment.

Even worse than the professional and financial upheavals, 2020 has forced us to face mortality and loss. But even here, there’s an upside: when you realise life are fragile you start to cherish your own life and the lives of your loved ones.

10. We’re All Connected.

In many ways, 2020 united the world. We saw that we weren’t so different as we all shared the same hopes and fears. We’ve begun to see the whole world as our community. What can you do to serve that community in 2021?

Posted by: Morgan Spencer