As we close 2020 and feverishly eye 2021, many business leaders are realizing they need to shift perspective. From crisis management in the spring to rolling out the “new normal” in the summer to maximizing the current playing field in the fall, the end of the year is now the time when, more than anything, leaders need to channel excitement through ingenuity for the next chapter.
While our ability to plan has been impacted because we’ve seen how much our day-to-day lives can change in a moment’s notice, it’s imperative to a brand’s success to have a game plan with the right players to execute it well. And that starts with having a leader who is mentally sharp and ready to think creatively, plan strategically and motivate others.
The challenges of 2020 have changed the way many of us recharge and find inspiration, which is imperative for those in high-level positions to recalibrate. However, through a disciplined approach, leaders can remove the mental clutter that adds up and ultimately dilutes their abilities. Retreats, vacations and travel are all heavily impacted, so the key is learning how to start right where you are — with only what you have at this moment in time — to reignite your fire and sharpen your mind.
Gaining clarity can give you the critical edge you crave in both your personal and professional life. Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Check in with yourself. Take an honest assessment of where you are at mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. What do you need more of? Less of? What are you going to do to ensure you are taking care of yourself? After all, if you don’t work, nothing around you at your company will.
2. Review your sphere of influence. Are the individuals around you positive and uplifting or toxic? Now more than ever it’s crucial to have the right people around you to help empower you with constructive support. Is it time to do a little repositioning or housekeeping with your professional circle? Remember, as the quote attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Are your five helping create the best version of you?
3. Consider your surroundings. Most of us are doing the majority of things that make up our day at home: working, cooking, teaching, learning, working out, relaxing and beyond. Is your environment helping you stay focused and motivated at work? If not, what can you do to elevate the vibe so you are more productive, more inspired and more in tune with intentional choices?
4. Be honest about your investments — beyond financial. Where are you mindlessly wasting time? What bad habits have you picked up? Are you watching news for hours on end and wondering why you feel overwhelmed? Are you scrolling social media and comparing your life and work to others? Stop the noise. Start making better choices for where to invest the 24 hours you get each day. Make them count instead of allowing them to meaninglessly waste away. One thing money never has — and never will — be able to buy is time.
While none of us can know for sure what tomorrow will bring — let alone 2021 — one thing that we do have absolute control over is the management of ourselves. We are each the CEO of our lives and therefore directly responsible for the choices we make.
My goal as a leader is to learn to ride the waves of change while being true to myself — and the only way to effectively do that is to make choices from a place of clarity. I encourage others to turn down the noise, and tune inward to get right to the root of where it all starts — with you.
As you sail into the year end, with unpredictable turbulence ahead, there is no better time than the present to gain that critical clarity edge.