As we come to the end of an unprecedented year, it’s clear that being in a leadership position has been challenging across many levels. The rule book essentially went out of the window when the pandemic hit, and business leaders grappled with what they once knew and tried to figure out how to make things work in a new way.
Both in terms of our work and personal lives, we’ve had a lot on our plates. Lack of socialising, home schooling, remote working, and in some cases, ill health – at times it may have seemed impossible to get work done.
But it’s not all been for nothing, and whilst we’re longing to see the back of 2020, it’s important that we leverage what we have learnt and apply that to the new year to come. So, what lessons can we, as business leaders, carry with us into 2021?
The pandemic has provided us with a platform to challenge everything we know and rely upon, personally and professionally. Our structures are more vulnerable than we realised, at work, and also financially, at home, socially, health wise and politically. Change brings along opportunity. 2020 has forced us to think innovatively outside the box. When we accept and fully embrace systemically what wants to emerge and happen, we can emerge out of comfort zones to try new ways of working.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become the go to method of meeting with clients and team members. Working from home might not be perfect, but we have taken advantage of new technology and tools and managed to streamline how we do things. No more unnecessary meetings clogging up the diary, and more time spent on the projects that matter most.
In times of uncertainty, trust has never been more important. Team members need openness, transparency, and vulnerability shown by their leaders. Authentic leaders inspire others by revealing a part of themselves that is relatable – and by being someone who people want to get behind. Great leaders are often not born leaders – they become great by allowing their life experiences and communications with others to shape their leadership style.
2020 has given us a chance to take a breath, take a step back, and take stock on what really matters in life. Nobody functions well when they are overwhelmed, but if we become more deliberate with our time and energy, focusing on what we value the most, we’ll achieve what we really need. Set limits daily and weekly and live intentionally.
Leaders have faced overwhelming pressure this year – to support their teams and to push their organisations through the crisis. Taking the time to rest and reflect is absolutely fundamental to success, and will actually make you more productive, and creative, in the long run.
At Distinctions Executive Coaching, we’ve worked with leaders throughout this challenging year and have experienced first-hand the pressures they continue to face. Executive and Business coaching is a great tool to enable leaders to develop effective leadership behaviours in difficult climates, as well as find meaning in what they do so they are able to contribute positively to everyone around them.
As we head into 2021, certainly the way we work will need to shift, and that’s where we see Executive Coaching and Business Coaching being more prominent than ever before.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can assist you further.