Whether you lead your company, your team, or your family, it is safe to say that as we move forward, there have been many leadership lessons learned from 2020. To be a more effective leader in 2021, we should take a moment and look at some impactful leadership lessons that took on major significance last year.
Last year forced many leaders to look beyond their organizations, challenging them to step up and lead in uncontrollable and unpredictable times while at the same time enabling others to do their best work. Let’s take a look at three significant leadership lessons.
Prepare and Adapt to Uncertainty
Leaders recognize that they do not always have the answer. During 2020, leaders were making the best decision at that time but often had to backtrack and take another course of action. We learned that this was an acceptable process as long as the goal was to arrive at a successful path for all. We learned that with so many things being out of our control, we had to make decisions based on the information we had, and when additional information was provided, we adjusted the course.
Emphasize Work-Life Balance
Many work environments were changed in 2020. Some moved from a corporate office to either a home office or work area within their home. For many, this was a new situation and equally difficult for leaders. Many people reported that they have never worked harder, whether remote or not. The good news is that in many instances, productivity reached unprecedented levels. However, we also learned that there were many cases of mental health issues, with stress being very high. Leaders had to help those they led identify work-life boundaries. Some companies established 4-day workdays, while other companies simply decided that one day each week would be meeting free. As many continue to work from home or for companies with reduced staff, this lesson is one that is extremely relevant for the new year.
Implement Caring Work Relationships
Leaders learned to build caring relationships, understanding that many were facing unfamiliar and unknown challenges. As this year continues with uncertainty, leaders must provide direction and focus on developing and/or deepening work relationships. Caring work relationships help individuals feel safe and supported. They provide an anchor among the constant changes.
These lessons are not rocket science, but leaders can soar if they are embraced.