Committing to the process is what builds great leaders. There is a process of pausing for reflection, growing through your experiences, and being intentional about your actions every single day as you lead. At the end of the day, it’s all about listening to and loving your people.
The process also doesn’t stop, and instead evolves. The best leadership results come from a continuous repetition of the cycle on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
The process is the most effective prescription for the days you feel stuck or need motivation to keep moving forward. Even better, committing to this type of repetitious cycle is a proactive measure. It ensures that you are continuously growing, challenging the status quo, and taking the big risks that bring greater success to your professional and personal journey.
Before the year ends, I intentionally set aside time to complete the first critical step in this process: I sit down, reflect, and write out the lessons I’ve learned during the year as a human resources consultant – just like I do every year.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned in 2020:
1. Normal is boring and will never be the launching pad to achieve great things.
I thought I had seen it all. Then during my 19th year in business, I’m faced with, “Are you ready? I’m about to throw something at you that you’ve never seen before, but you’re prepared.”
A challenge? Sure. A great opportunity? Absolutely. The opportunity created space for our team to dig deep and get even more creative in how we were showing up and serving our clients.
The past 19 years of growing and challenging the status quo prepared us to take an even greater leap. But without the challenges of 2020, innovation at this level probably wouldn’t have occurred.
2. Resilience pays off every time.
Maintaining the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties is the key to great leadership. Resilient organizations and their leaders also ride out uncertainty instead of being overpowered by it.
Embracing resilience helps establish clear direction, and becomes a muscle reflex even during times of change or challenge. Initiating effective communication with team members doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking another step forward in an effort to achieve results. Successfully navigating through people management issues and overcoming obstacles is just another part of the day.
During 2020, no challenge was off limits as a human resources consultant. Both professional and personal aspects were significantly impacted. I needed resilience every step of the way:
- When we lost our office space
- When there were changes in vendors
- When the gym I visited three days a week for the past several years closed
- When dear friends relocated to other states
Resilience helped me to bend, not break, and grow stronger in the process when the challenges began to snowball.
The ability to stay resilient has paid off more times than I can count throughout my career, and 2020 year was no different.
3. Be weird.
I have often been called “weird,” and I like it!
Several times this year, we held creative solution brainstorming sessions to discuss what we could do for our clients and continue offering value. These were “no limit” discussions, and any and all ideas that the team came up with were considered.
Removing limitations and entertaining all ideas produced incredible, albeit weird solutions. But, do you know what we discovered in the process? Weird worked. Weird brought value. Weird made our clients feel appreciated. Weird inspired our leaders to get weird, too.
I’ve never shied away from weird, and this year further proved why it’s always a good idea to get creative.
4. It is never a bad time to provide great service to your clients.
When 2020 became increasingly challenging, we focused on service. No request was too small, too silly, too anything – we were thankful for every call we received and treated it with the care it deserved. In return, we had clients checking on us, ensuring that we were okay.
Our client’s concern and care for us should come as no surprise to good leaders. When you focus on service – serving your people and your customers – great things happen. People respond best to positivity, authenticity, and connection. When service is the main focus, you will always reach your goals.
5. Perspective is everything.
More often than not, I have a “glass half full” type of mindset versus “glass half empty.” This mindset served me well as a human resources consultant.
Every day, I focused on the best parts of the day. I chose gratitude. I focused on how thankful I was that we provide value to the people who we interact with on every platform and space. I focused on how thankful I was for my team, for technology and the list goes on.
The positivity I chose to focus on right in front of me truly expanded into more. It enabled me to meet each obstacle, challenge, or everyday situation with strength and ingenuity. It enabled me to support my people and inspire them.
Perspective truly is everything. The power of focusing on the positive cannot be underscored. It’s true that what you fill your mind with is what you will receive in return.
With my reflection on 2020 complete, I can now move forward and grow from those experiences as a human resources consultant and keynote speaker. I can set new goals that further challenge me and my team to be the best we need to be for the people we serve.
Leaders, don’t skip this step before the year ends. Pick up a pen and start reflecting. Embrace the process and move forward with the positivity and intention you need to keep leading, listening to, and loving your people best in 2021 and beyond.