We are all tired of this pandemic. Many of our clients are dealing with some degree of PTSD or depression, and some are just done. Lately, I am even exposed to such “radical” thinking as “let us all as a family or company get COVID-19 and be done with it”. When our Minister of Health announced a few weeks back that this way of living will be with us forever, nobody was amused.
But some of the leaders around me are thriving and, as we embark on the challenges of 2022, I wanted to highlight a few examples that you might see as inspiring:
1. An entrepreneur extraordinaire decided that he and his team will come out of the pandemic “better than the day it started”. This resulted in individual and team health goals, competitions and games that, with the help of pedometers, kept the team motivated and in high spirits. The result? Not only is the entire team in great physical shape, but they are also mentally healthier and the team spirit has evolved, positively. And the cherry on top – more than a year later – the team is still going strong!
2. A brilliant senior leader in a large firm used the time to evaluate and refocus his priorities, for a change putting himself and family first and courageously setting strategic boundaries on what should and should not be done at work. From quitting drinking alcohol (apparently alcohol-free gin is amazing), to organizing quality time with family, to setting examples for his team, and saying “no” to activities more than “yes”. He totally revamped not only his personal lifestyle but had an amazing impact on the culture in the organization, decreasing performance anxiety in his business and, finally, outperforming expectations. Less is more. Evidently.
3. An inspiring senior executive in a large organization decided that her life is bigger than her career within the company. She is now following her dream – she quit her job and has started her own business. “I don’t remember a time when I was happier”. Having the courage to make such a large decision in a time when foreseeing the future is difficult is, in my opinion, inspiring. More than once I’ve heard other women around me say, “Good for her! I wish I could!” She does not wish, she is making the wish a reality. I see her smiling now more than ever.
4. An idealist and crusader, this President and CEO put his mind towards ensuring that he does not lose one employee during the pandemic. He made a public promise to that extent – to his Board and to the entire organization. From upskilling to restructuring, he galvanized his entire senior team to find connection with each employee in the most meaningful way… for the employee. A mammoth of a challenge, but met bravely by the team – the message more than a year later is still resonating. The promise is still felt in all the decisions that he makes.
5. Hanshi Cezar Borkowski – a Karate Master, who relentlessly and humbly reshaped the way we train virtually, and stays connected with the community sharing his wisdom and even recipes for his pasta puttanesca. This nobility of simple acts is demonstrated daily, effortlessly and without calculation, based on a simple principle of wanting to serve.
I know, we look around us and see more strain than happiness; however, as you set yourself up for the year, think of these few simple things that might help you make the year better:
- Mental health is health. Now more than ever, be alert about your own well-being and the well-being of those around you.
- Face your choices courageously. Resist the temptation to do it all. Steve Jobs said, “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. You have to pick carefully.”
- Be kind to yourself. Respect your own life, stay true to yourself and know what you love doing.
- Take responsibility for your life. Anticipate and live with the consequences of your decisions and actions.
- Pay it forward with generosity and kindness. Be it through time or money – you are part of a community and therefore have the privilege to contribute, to make it better, to make it thrive. It is fun to see things grow.
With that in mind, we hope that the year will be easy on us all. We are privileged to be your partner. Always. And, although virtually, we are not far away so count us in as your support system as 2022 evolves.