It is comforting to think that if we can get through this “horrible year,” we can face almost any adversity. But as we face 2021, business grit and resiliency will be as important as ever. January 1st, 2021 is not necessarily a new beginning but the year in which business resiliency will hopefully begin to pay dividends.
2020 has been quite the crucible. Gauged through the prism of hindsight, though, its challenges have inspired wide-ranging positive change. They highlighted previously undetected shortcomings in our day-to-day operations and contingency plans. Some of these lessons might have been painful but we are better leaders for having learned them. Here are three proactive traits that have served managers well this year, as well as a final one that binds them all together.
Social distancing regulations have transformed the traditional workplace, often in favor of entirely remote alternatives. Leaders must cultivate the ability to recognize opportunities and foresee challenges from this vastly different management perspective. They also have to reconfigure how they communicate with, delegate to, assess, recognize, and support their team members amid the unprecedented decentralization.
Fortunately, the reinvented workplace has also spawned a dedicated collaboration tool development industry. Of course, leading remotely is far more complex than subscribing to a premium suite of apps. Rather, identify a few specific ones that your team really needs and then deploy them effectively in your real-world operations.
Leaders with the growth mindset stand apart in their passion for constant motion. They are perpetually on the forefront of change and innovation, regardless of whether their industry is expanding. This impetus is as much a consequence of their personal vision as it is of external factors; a growth mindset incorporates both into a holistic driving force.
With a growth mindset comes the ability to substitute micromanagement with delegation, celebrate learning experiences ahead of outright triumphs, and finagle a lesson from each of those experiences. It is not about no dull moments but rather no static ones.
Zoom exemplifies the raw power of agility in action. Despite an extremely contentious gestation rife with privacy, data vulnerability, and even espionage controversies, it now reigns supreme in the teleconferencing arena. The locus of Zoom’s success is its proactive response to each criticism.
The company implemented incremental modifications in response to everything from local protests to federal investigations. Its unmatched agility has helped Zoom seal long-term contracts with top US universities, corporations, and institutions. While some still refuse to work with Zoom as a matter of principle, the app will soon celebrate its first anniversary as the team to beat.
The ultimate trait of a resilient business leader is perseverance. Call it grit or good, old-fashioned doggedness but it is the one characteristic that binds all three attributes on which we touched earlier.
Perseverance is what pushes you through the fog of new, hastily-introduced and confusing remote collaboration apps. It drives you to focus on growth and the future, free of the tunnel vision of perpetual firefighting. When the world throws a new hurdle at you at every turn despite your best efforts, it is the strength of your perseverance that inspires agile solutions.
Whichever route you took to survive and excel in your industry over the tumultuous course that was 2020, you have come out on this side raring to get at 2021. It is the seed of perseverance driving you. Nurture it and watch the rest fall into place. Follow me on LinkedIn and Facebook for more advice as we enter the new year.