Here's what I learned from great leaders in 2020...
They say hindsight is 20/20. Well 2020 hasn’t been great for hindsight. Well not just yet anyway. It feels like we’ve just been so busy being “in it” – we haven’t created the space for that perfect vision. The bushfire crisis rolled into a global health crisis and we found ourselves using new verbs like “quarantining” and “social distancing” and “tracking and tracing”. Scenario planning suddenly took priority and we started using a whole lot more of the alphabet, speculating what would happen in worlds of U, V, W and L-shaped recoveries.
Every cliché known to human kind was rolled out with an apologetic groan or air quote, exposing our inability to find better words to describe this “unprecedented change” in this “volatile world” that would require us to adapt and dare I say it, ”pivot”! Turns out these words become clichés for a reason. We saw the crisis of the pandemic fuel panic-buying and a flurry to figure out how to do life and work online. The adrenalin of change and innovation morphed into boredom, frustration, grief, indignation, relief, innovation. The reactions differed by individual, household, state and country as we all just tried to deal with it as best we could.
While it’s been tough to find that space to move to a lens of hindsight, having an unexpected “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” on life as we’ve known it, has given pause for so many of us to reflect on what matters, how we operate, what we believe in. This year has delivered many unexpected things for us all, but for me personally, one of them was a podcast series I launched at the end of March 2020. What started out as a plan for six episodes talking about leading through change, ended up being a 21-episode series that coincided with us all, collectively, navigating the single biggest global change experiment of our time. I have had the opportunity to speak to an unbelievable line-up of reflective leaders and organisation/nation/ humanity-shifting change makers this year who have generously and candidly shared their stories and insights.
So as the year draws to a close I find myself desperate to put pen to paper (fingertips to keys just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it), forcing myself to stop and reflect on how these people created movements out of moments, how they picked themselves up from mighty falls, how they led to victory, and how they led through defeat.