A People-Centric Organization is the Future of Work: Is Your Business Ready for 2022?

Flashback to November 2019. Many of us were going about our usual routines …year-end closing duties at work, holiday shopping extravaganzas, and social gatherings with friends and family. Little did we know just a few short months later, we – the world – would be in the midst of a global pandemic that ultimately would upend our every sense of normalcy.

As this year’s holiday season approaches, we cannot help but reflect on all that we have gone through together. As we slowly emerge, albeit a bit battered and bruised emotionally (and more) from the turmoil Covid-19 thrust upon us, it may at times seem we have stepped into another universe, an alternate reality – the world we knew looks different, feels different, we are different.

As we look into 2022, leaders everywhere should be asking themselves one question: ‘How do we stay competitive in this new world of work post-Covid?’ The details here may vary, but at the core the focus should be on creating an adaptable, people-centric organization. If you want a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, make sure you have adaptability and people at the top of your 2022 strategic plans. Here is why…

An Adaptable Organization Is Ready for Anything

The world of work has undergone one of the most significant evolutions during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, we consulted with many clients who were, at times, resistant about remote work – thinking it could never work in theirenvironment. Well, necessity breeds invention they say – and Covid-19 forced it upon us. And you know what? We made it work. Not always pretty, but it worked – and we kept adapting, making it better and opening new doors of creativity and flexibility never seen before is some organizations. And employees took notice that being strapped in a cubicle was not necessary for them to be an asset. Why does that matter as the future of work unfolds? Consider this – In a recent study:

  • 77% of respondents agree that after the pandemic ends, being able to work from home would make them happier.
  • 1 in 2 people do not plan to return to jobs that do not offer remote work.
  • 1 in 2 people would move if they were able to work from home all or most of the time.
  • 80% expect to work from home at least 3 times a week.

Furthermore, a report out by McKinsey & Company, revealed:

  • Even after vaccines are fully rolled out, 22% of U.S. jobs could be done remotely for 3-5 days a week, 17% for 1-3 days a week, and the remaining 61% of jobs could be done remotely for 1 day a week without loss of productivity.
  • 72% of executives say that their organizations have started adopting permanent remote-working models.
  • 70% of employees say that being able to work from home for at least part of the week is a top criterion in choosing their next job.

Offering remote working (in whatever capacity that looks like for you) not only will enable you to attract the top talent in your area, but the sky is the limit on where you can source and recruit. Changing perspective on how employees work and where they sit will give you a strong advantage as the future of work continues to evolve.

The People-Centric Organization Will Keep The Best Talent

Organizations post-Covid are shifting their focus from work-experience to the employee’s life-experience. For example, flexible work schedules, childcare support and reimbursement, flexible PTO, forward-thinking technology, and increased access to mental health resources are becoming the norm (not just perks). Employees want to work for companies like this. And they are less likely to jump ship, which is a real concern for organizations everywhere today. According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic:

  • Resignations peaked in July 2021 with 4 million Americans quitting their jobs in July.
  • 52% of people plan to look for a new job in 2021.

The Great Resignation” is upon us. The time during the lockdowns and layoffs gave people time to rethink their priorities, to pause, and to reflect on how they want to live their lives – and what, where and how they work is at the top of list. Employees everywhere came back to the table ready and pushing for change.

Not surprisingly, companies who before the pandemic embraced these offerings didn’t miss a beat. But the good news is it is not too late to catch up. Implementing a people-first, adaptable organizational strategy is within reach. One in which your leaders thrive, your people thrive, and your organization is poised with a major competitive advantage for talent in the years ahead.

Looking for ideas on how to lead your organization into the future? Check out our website to learn more about LEADING THE BUSINESS – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I  at East Tenth Group today.


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3 Key Actions to Strengthen Your Emotional Agility as a Leader

One day you’re on the top of the world – everything is going your way. The next day you get a curveball and the world seems upside down. Sound familiar? Probably. Life is full of good times, bad times, and circumstances that can change in an instant. Personally, I think we can all agree we’ve experienced a never-ending emotional roller coaster ride over the last 18 months due to the COVID pandemic.

However, these ups and downs are part of life (albeit, what we are dealing with globally is quite extraordinary). With that said, It is ever important for us – especially those in leadership roles – to maintain a sense of calm and adaptability in the face of change. Learning to recognize and manage our emotions in times of turmoil is critical – not only to our own sanity, but for the success of those who look to us for guidance.

HOW we respond speaks to our own emotional intelligence. And as a leader, you are under the microscope – you are the example that others will follow. If you freak out, so will they. However, if you approach challenge with a level-head, they will too. Easier said than done, right? Learning to recognize and manage our emotions and behaviors takes time and practice – it’s really an ongoing learning experience that evolves as we age (always learning mindset). If you are looking to strengthen your emotional agility during tough times, consider the following strategies to get you started.

Know Your Triggers

We all have certain triggers that set off emotional responses – patterns of behavior, that are sometimes so hard-wired within us, it is hard to recognize without a conscious effort. When we fall victim to our negative patterns of thinking and behaving, we become rigid – unable to adapt to new ideas or obstacles that seem overwhelming. The first step is to recognize this tendency. Without accepting our flaws, we cannot begin to change. Practicing self-compassion as we recognize those flaws is a must to strengthening emotional agility.

Accept the Negatives

Having strong emotional intelligence does not mean you walk around in a blissful state 24/7, completely unphased by bad news, uncertainty, or challenge. You cannot evade or pretend bad things will not happen to you. Instead, those with emotional agility accept the negatives as part of life and they allow themselves to feel those negative emotions – in turn, modeling healthy, productive ways of responding.

Be Mindful & Flip the Script

When we are mindful of our emotional patterns and the behaviors that follow, we can then head the off and flip the script – turning a negative response into a positive (or at least not an outburst). The next time you get bad news or face unexpected challenge, instead of allowing yourself to respond on impulse, try asking yourself “Where are the opportunities in this challenge and how might those opportunities help my team/client/company?” With a simple flip of the script, you can turn a negative in a positive. Not always easy, but this simple shift in mindset will allow you the time and space to respond in a more emotionally intelligent and adaptable manner.

When leaders are more agile, organizations are more agile. It is an organic process – your company cannot handle challenge if the people within struggle themselves. With a little self-compassion, self-awareness, and a growth mindset, even the tallest of mountains can be climbed.

Looking for ideas on how to stay adaptable during times of change? Check out our website to learn more about Smarter Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Summer 2021: Why Taking Time Off to Refresh is More Important Than Ever

Summer 2021 is in full swing. And compared to last summer when the world was turned upside down and inside out, this summer may feel like a breath of fresh air. Granted, we are still working together to battle the pandemic; however, that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. I, for one, will get to spend our annual 2 weeks in Maine and I seriously cannot wait!

Last summer felt a bit like the Twilight Zone. Many of us were forced to cancel our usual summer fun – vacations, concerts, friends and family gatherings. It felt like the rug was pulled right out from under us. A time usually marked with carefree days and lifelong memories, summer was stolen away. We made the most of what we had – exploring new hobbies, spending more time at home, and gaining a new sense of what was important in our lives (a silver lining in the storm).

As the vaccination efforts prove to be turning the tides in our favor, Summer 2021 is upon us – and boy, does it feel pleasantly familiar! Things look normal again. Yet, there remains a sense of uncertainty in the air. Our brains and our hearts have been through the wringer over the last 18 months, so jumping back into our usual activities may not feel as natural as you thought it would. During this transitional period, taking time to renew and refresh this summer may be more important than ever.

Getting our minds and hearts in the right place will take time. One of the best things you can do is take time to reflect on what you have been through and embark on activities that give you joy. Instead of trying to rush back to it all, consciously take time for yourself. And as a leader, encourage your team to do the same. Here are a few reasons why taking time to refresh this summer more than ever is critical for our mental health:

A Refreshed Perspective

Taking time away from the stressors in our lives and focusing on activities that bring us joy leads to a refreshed perspective. And no one will disagree that we have had some stressors in our lives this past year! Look at taking time away as a mental reset. A time to divert our attention from the tunnel vision of fear and uncertainty we’ve all felt a more positive perspective. Whether it is the long-awaited vacation you had to cancel last summer or just a mental health day at the local park catching up with a good book, you will return to work with a renewed sense of optimism and energy.

Challenge Your Negativity Bias

Many of us have felt in a funk this last year, unable to move with all of the negativity thrown our way every day. Our internal negativity bias, the self-protective mechanism that keeps us safe from harm, has been on overdrive for the last 18 months. The psychosocial impact of the COVID pandemic is real. And there is no magic switch to turn it off. Instead, taking small steps to challenge this negativity bias and boost your resiliency will help you emerge from summer with a renewed sense of appreciation for the world around you. And the more appreciation we can build, the happier and less stressed we will feel.

As leaders, we need to encourage our teams to take time to renew and refresh this summer; and be an example to our teams by definitely taking time off ourselves. Taking this time to reset will result in a more creative, productive, and healthier workforce. Exactly what we all need to keep moving the needle forward together.

Looking for ideas on how to help your team stay refreshed and focused? Head on over to our website to learn more about Leadership Development for Team Building | East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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design thinking for employee engagement

3 Ways to Stay Resilient During Times of Constant Uncertainty

Over the course of the last year and half, one thing that has remained a constant is the uncertainty. As soon as we think we have the pandemic figured out, a new curveball hits. Although this is to be expected when dealing with uncertain situations, the upheaval it causes can be a challenge – leaving us feeling ill-equipped, paralyzed, and just plain overwhelmed.

As a leader, people look to you for guidance – to know what to do and when to do it, and reassurance that everything is going to be okay. But with shifting advice from experts coupled with polarizing opinions, to say you have your hands full is the understatement of the year. Trying to navigate the health and safety of your employees with that of your business is a true balancing act, one that requires constant flexibility and resiliency. Even for the best leaders, this is not easy.

Yes, the vaccine brings promise. However, it has also brought a new round of confusion and disagreement. Thankfully, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine…but we are not there yet. So, as a leader, how do you stay resilient (again)? As they say in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”. Here are a few strategies to keep your head above water when it comes to this incredibly challenging, ever-evolving pandemic:

Embrace the Uncertainty

I know, that sounds crazy. Many high-achieving leaders ascended to where they are today because they are great at figuring out the hard things and knowing what to do. It’s hard-wired. However, the reality is pandemic or no pandemic, uncertainty will arise. And sometimes, we have to take a step back and embrace the mess with a growth mindset. Learning to be comfortable with not having the answers right away will ease your anxiety and help you communicate in a calm, authentic manner (which is what your team needs to hear and feel from you).

Seek Out Innovation

Some of the world’s most amazing inventions were born out of necessity, born out of someone being forced to think outside-the-box. Nobody wants the pandemic, but here we are. However, one beautiful thing that has arisen from this crisis is the opportunity to innovate. Businesses all over the world were forced overnight to rethink their models, take risks, and alter their way of doing business in order to survive. Shifting your mindset from one that feels stuck to one that feels excited to test the unknown will have you feeling more empowered and energized to handle the uncertainty around you.

Honest Communication

Great communication really is the key to success. Choosing our words and timing is critical to getting our message across, rallying the troops behind a common goal, and easing fears during times of crisis. As always, the key to great communication is transparency. Resist the urge to swoop in and make promises that you may not be able to keep given the evolving situation. Be honest that you do not have all the answers right now, but encourage your teams to remain flexible – and to remember you are traveling this unchartered road together.

Staying resilient when it seems the world is stacked against you is tough. Leaders want to have the answers, but sometimes we just don’t. Making peace with uncertainty and embracing all the challenges that come along with it will help you lead more effectively. Above all, be honest. People will respect you for inviting them in on the journey – the good, the bad, and the uncertain.

Looking for more ideas on how to lead your team through uncertainty? Head on over to our website to learn more about Leadership Development for Team Building | East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Become an Advocate for Your Employee’s Mental Health

Times of uncertainty challenge us – they throw us off balance, not knowing which way is up and which way is down. Covid-19 has certainly been one of those times. Every aspect of our lives has been impacted by the pandemic – our relationships, our jobs, our finances, our beliefs. And let’s admit it…it has been hard mentally to process. Thankfully, we are starting to see a light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

To make it through the most challenging days, one needs to dig up all the resiliency, perseverance, and grit they have. Some days that can be easy, but not so much on others. Our mental health has suffered. In fact, the surge of mental health issues has been labeled the “second pandemic”. Prior to Covid-19, real discussions about the importance of mental health – and transparency of such in the workplace – were starting to unfold. Creating a safe place for people to voice these struggles without fear of judgement. When you look at the data, 1 in 5 adults have a diagnosable mental illness and 50% of people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.

So, how does mental health impact your business? And more importantly, how can you as a leader be an advocate for those who struggle behind close doors? Mental health affects every one of us from time to time, in different ways and for different reasons. As a leader, you are uniquely positioned to steer and promote the conversation.

Become an Advocate

When we change the way we talk about mental health, amazing things can happen. Years ago (and even still now, but improving), the stigma around mental health was real. People just didn’t talk about it because they were ashamed of their circumstance, scared of losing their job, or being seen as less than capable. Today, sharing your story is an effective way to connect and engage in a thoughtful dialog around mental health… and it is a great way for YOU become an advocate for others. When someone struggling hears “I have been there, and this is how I was able to overcome.” – the stigma falls and real connection begins.

Change the Conversation

As a leader, you have a responsibility to create an open, inclusive, and safe environment that allows people to bring their authentic selves to work. When employees feel authentic, it can lead to better performance, engagement, and employee retention. Ask how your employees are doing mentally – and then listen and relate if you can. If they are struggling, see if there is anything you can move off their plate, provide new resources, or simply ask how you can be helpful? Your job is not to fix them, it is to support them. A simple conversation can make all the difference.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence – And Help Your Team Do The Same

Leading others to recognize and communicate about their own mental health starts with you. One of the best things you can do is take a look at yourself and your ability to recognize and regulate your emotions. Increasing our emotional intelligencenot only enables us to respond better to outside challenges, but it makes us better listeners, better advocates, and better colleagues.

Mental health challenges are nothing new. However, the pandemic has brought them to the forefront with many experiencing struggles like never before. Organizations and leaders who challenge stigmas and stereotypes around mental health will not only have healthier employees who show up and give their best, but they will have a healthier company for it in the long run.

Looking to change the conversation and become a better leader to your team during times of crisis? Head on over to our website to download our eBook on Leading Teams. If your organization is looking for a new perspective in these unprecedented times, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Executive Coaching

Why HR Leaders Should Have a Coach

Providing coaching services to a company’s C-suite can cultivate new perspectives, improve conflict resolution skills, and even helps shape the tone of an organization. However, one group that is often overlooked are the HR leaders. HR touches every aspect of your business. They work to attract and retain top talent for your company, counsel employees and managers through challenges, and help shape your company’s policies and even public image. So, why in the world would we ever want to skip over this group when it comes to continued professional development?

Offering coaching services to your HR leaders has many gains – both from an individual and organizational perspective. Consider the following benefits coaching can bring to HR:

Coaching is an Experience

HR leaders are often asked to provide guidance to leaders, managers, and those high performers we so desperately want to keep. However, all too often HR leaders themselves have never received any formal coaching. How can they possibly offer the perspective and experience needed to develop others when no one has invested in them? Coaching is an experience – one that can be lifechanging and last well beyond the years in the office. For your HR professionals to champion those efforts within your organization, they must experience it first-hand.

HR’s Unique View

HR is the one department that has a big picture view of how a company’s various departments impact one another. As mentioned above, HR serves as a counselor, mentor and guide – working through a myriad of challenging issues, leadership pitfalls and offering career advice – an informal (and often impromptu) coaching resource for employees. With HR’s unique view into the organization coupled with being the recipient of coaching services themselves, HR professionals are positioned even better to advise employees and managers on how to navigate the complex web of your organization.

The best athletes in the world have a coach, right? So why in the world wouldn’t you avail your HR leaders to coaching in order to be their best? As you look to refine your leadership development efforts, make sure you include your HR leaders (and not necessarily just the ones at the top of the chain) in the mix. The knowledge-share from this group into the rest of the ranks will reap rewards for years to come.

Looking to offer your HR professionals the resources needed to grow in their careers and keep adding value to your organization? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Coaching for HR Leaders – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective in these unprecedented times, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.


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Women & Leadership: Actions to Take Now

Diversity among leadership has been a focal point in recent years and considerably in the last year. We have learned that organizations with diverse teams tend to outperform their more homogenous counterparts. Why? Diverse teams bring different perspectives and life experiences, new ways of thinking, and generally challenge each member to step out of their comfort zone. When this happens, creativity flourishes – not to mention builds a culture of inclusion. And, exponential increases take place in customer acquisition and retention, revenue, profit and growth.

However, when comparing women and men, the leadership gap still very much exists. Women have made great strides getting a seat at the table and the numbers are showing signs that our organizations are working to build more gender diverseleadership among their ranks. Here are some good news stats:

  • Since 2015, the number of women in senior leadership has grown – particularly in the C-suite where the representation of women has increased from 17% to 21%.
  • The percentage of female CEOs worldwide has increased over the last decade. At the end of 2019, 29% of senior management roles were filled by women (globally).
  • In 2019, 33 females had been appointed in CEO positions (an increase from 4.8% in 2018 to 6.6% in 2019).
  • 31% of senior roles are held by women in the US.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, research revealed that overall leadership effectiveness ratings comparing men and women leaders revealed women were rated as more effective leaders during the global crisis compared to their male counterparts.

Yet, there is still much work to be done. By now we all know the dismal stats:

  • Only 5% of CEOS of major corporations in the US are women.
  • Female CEOs are 45% more likely to be fired than male CEOs – regardless of company performance.
  • In 2019, only 22% of all available CEO positions were refilled by women – compared to 78% of CEO replacements that were male.
  • Men interrupt 33% more often when speaking with women than when they spoke with another man. Over the course of a 3-minute conversation, men interrupted women 2.1 times.
  • No matter the leadership level, women are still disproportionately interrupted, talked over, and have their ideas unacknowledged and picked up by their male colleagues without credit for the original idea.

What are we going to do about this? As a leader, how can you address the gender leadership gap in your day-to-day actions? How can you create an inclusive culture that not only embraces the talents women bring, but also rewards those talents equally? Consider these strategies as you work to build a diverse, inclusive leadership team in which women thrive:

Mentor for Executive Prescence

The power of executive presence can make or break a leader. There are some skills that transcend beyond male vs female (although our society still views stereotypical male characteristics as the model for leadership). When designing leadership development programs for women, focus on executive presence.  Mentoring women on the fundamentals of executive presence can help them find their voice – one that exudes composure, connection, charisma, confidence, credibility, clarity, and conciseness. 

All You Need is Little (Inclusive) Nudge

Our unconscious bias steers our decision making – often without us realizing it. When it comes to brainstorming sessions, often the loudest voice in the room takes the floor – the extroverts, and usually the men. At your next meeting, before you give your opinion (which can invoke conformity) or ask others to ‘speak up’ (which in a group setting disadvantages the introverts), have attendees write down their ideas or solutions prior to the meeting and share as group. This will help to mitigate the issue of women being interrupted or having their ideas ‘stolen’ by male team members. This simple strategy builds a level playing field. For more ideas on how to create an inclusive environment that promotes diversity in thought, check out Inclusion Nudges (inclusion-nudges.org).

If they won’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Shirley Chisolm, first African American woman elected to US Congress

Take.Action.Now. Tell the men to stop interrupting and taking credit for a women’s idea. Look at your open roles from top to bottom in your organization and ensure your slate of candidates is more than equally women. In every meeting, mandate that at least one if not more women need to be present. Period.

As leaders of our organizations, people look to us for what is right, what is just. Working towards greater diversity in thought and representation at the top benefits every member of your organization and the bottom line – bolstering your company to heights of success than you never could have imagined.

Looking for guidance on helping women in your organization excel in leadership? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Developing Executive Presence – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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coaching executives challenge

How Your C-Suite (And Yes, Even the CEO) Can Benefit from Coaching

One positive that has emerged from the pandemic is a focus on the leadership skills needed to navigate challenging situations. Organizations everywhere are taking a hard look into the how they do business in this ever-changing environment – and along with that comes a new perspective in how we train and prepare our people for the next level.

When we think of professional coaching, we often think of focusing on our emerging leaders – those high-performers who we have slated on our succession plans. We want to continue to provide these achievers with all the opportunities and resources they need to excel. But what about those who have already ascended to the top? Our C-Suite? Even our CEOs? Does the need for professional coaching just end once you reach the pinnacle of your career?

The short answer is NO. Learning should be a lifelong habit – one in which we never complete. Regardless if you are the fresh grad right out of college or the seasoned executive with countless successes under your belt, the ability to grow – mentally, emotionally and physically – is always with you.

So, how do organizations offer the caliber of coaching needed at the C-suite level? What could these accomplished individuals possibly need to learn? Well, you’d be surprised. Ascending to the C-suite takes grit, sound decision making, and depth of experience. However, as your climb that proverbial ladder, the skills and abilities needed to keep succeeding personally and for the benefit of your organization evolve. When selecting a coaching strategy for our C-suite, what you look for will differ than the program you design for those high-performers mentioned above. For your CEOs and other C-suite members, consider the following:

Coaching Cultivates New Perspective

Sometimes the 10,000-foot view creates blind spots. Things may look good overall, but when you change your perspective and really look into the working pieces, you often find areas for improvement – some of which can have a significant impact on profit and people. This is where executive coaching can take a C-suite member to the next level. Giving them greateradaptability and a new perspective into the business.

Improved Conflict Resolution

As a leader, often your role is to mediate conflict and find solutions when things are not working. Conflict resolution skills are needed at every stage of your career; however, at the C-suite level, the conflicts become bigger and more costly. Not to mention navigating these unprecedented times we are living in. Having the ability to succeed through crisis has become a central skill for leaders. When a CEO avoids conflict, that poor decision trickles down into the ranks – leading to a culture that is not adept at facing big challenges. When your C-suite models sound conflict resolution, it positively impacts your people, your culture, and your bottom line.

The CEO Sets the Tone

When you were first starting out in your career, you were part of the pack – following along while learning the ropes. As you progressed and took on leadership roles, your influence and example began to matter more and more. And now that you have earned a spot at the C-suite table, your influence and example could not be more important. In fact, when it comes to the culture and tone of an organization, it all starts with the CEO. That is a lot of responsibility to have on one’s shoulders. Fortunately, executive coaching not only helps you learn how to shoulder that great responsibility but teaches you how to define the type of organization you want to lead.

Looking to equip your C-suite with the tools and resources to keep providing real value to your organization? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Executive Coaching Services for CEOs & Business Owners – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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3 Fundamentals to Avoid Reckless Risk-Taking in 2021

The New Year is usually one of my favorite times of year, both personally and professionally – I love the optimism and renewed energy that turning the calendar can have on the heart, mind, and soul. And after a year like 2020, we all need a little optimism these days; and with the state of our country, holding on to optimism can keep some semblance of sanity.

With that said, 2021 already is a challenging year for many us. As the Covid-19 vaccination effort ramps up across the globe, the virus continues to take center stage. You may be asking yourself, ‘Is this the year to take those risks I put off?’ ‘Should we just lay low until things are back to “normal”?’ Fear of the unknown should not prohibit you from taking risks to benefit your business. Albeit, coming off a tumultuous year like 2020, it is perfectly normal to be a bit hesitant to rock the boat too much.

With that said, taking the right risks at the right time may be the game-changer your business is looking for to prosper during the New Year. But with an everchanging economic and societal landscape, working to avoid reckless risk-taking that endangers the health of your business, your employee’s welfare, and that of the community at large should be top of mind.

So, how do you find balance between pushing the limits and maintaining a calm center during times of upheaval? Following a few of these leadership fundamentals will allow you to take smart risks that move your business forward:

Keep A Watchful Eye

Probably the most important thing you can do to avoid reckless risk-taking in 2021 is to keep a watchful eye on current events. Keeping a pulse on the progress of the vaccination effort, global reaction to the virus spread, and the overall economic impact of industries related to yours should all come into play as you determine what risks to take and when. The pandemic has proven that our economy and those around the world are much a domino effect – once one falls, everything else is impacted in one way or another. Be mindful of both your industry and the world around you.

Be Open To All Ideas – Even the Crazy Ones

A lesson learned in 2020 that will help us in 2021 is to know that the impossible can in fact be possible. In 2020, we witnessed so many businesses adapt to the ever-changing circumstances to keep their workers employed and their business going. Restaurants pivoting to carry-out orders only and parking lot tables, employees from various industries working from home for the first time, children learning virtually, drive-in concerts and movies…the list goes on. We adapted. Necessity breeds creativity. When formulating your risks, do not let your old way of doing things tie you down – be open to all ideas, even the crazy ones. They just might surprise you.

Avoid Analysis Paralysis

When we look to take risks, we often weigh the pros and cons. Easy right? Not so much. Sometimes we can get ourselves so tangled up in the details that we end up paralyzed, unable to make a decision – our minds just go numb. Make sure to take a calculated approach, but one in which you truly understand your personal tolerance for risk first. Ask yourself, ‘What is the worst thing that could happen? What is the best?’ Chances are your result will land you somewhere in the middle; however, if you can tolerate the worst, then your risk is probably worth taking. It all comes down to self-awareness and our individual comfort level.

We made it through 2020 together and we’ll make it through 2021. This New Year brings a renewed sense of hope (that is what I believe!) – a light at the end of the tunnel as they say. Finding a balance between steady leadership and knowing what risks to take and when will help your business succeed. Here is to a  prosperous and healthy 2021!

Looking to encourage your leaders to take smart risks in the New Year? Head on over to our website to learn more with our Guide to Leading Teams – East Tenth Group . If your organization is looking for a new perspective in the New Year, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Leadership Lessons From A Year Like No Other: What Will You Take Into 2021?

As the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, another year begins. However, coming off a year like 2020 may have you feeling more than uneasy about what 2021 has in store. Many of the challenges and lessons learned this year will carry over, yet there is still so much uncertainty in the world. So, how do you plan for a year ahead like that?

This is a time of year to reflect on the successes and challenges we have faced along the way. We often look back on what worked, what didn’t, and what will we change in the New Year. These lessons learned shape us, they change the way we behave, the way we learn, and what we view as most important. With that in mind, I look to 2021 and consider what capabilities and skills do our leaders of today and tomorrow need to carry with them after the harrowing experience this year has brought upon us. A few key lessons come to mind:

Adaptability Leads to Innovation

One of the biggest takeaways of 2020 is the need to be adaptable to ever-changing circumstances. 2020 has truly been a year like no other in our lifetime. With a global pandemic, economic crisis, racial tensions, climate crisis, and government unrest, the ability to adapt has never been more important for leaders and their teams. Being adaptable does not just keep your business afloat to changing circumstances. It can also open doors never imagined and unearth opportunities to grow your business in ways never thought possible. In 2021, inspire and develop your leaders with an ability to adapt, face change with grace, and instill a passion to challenge what was once impossible. Developing our leaders of tomorrow with adaptability in mind will move your business forward.

You Cannot Grow If You Cannot Persevere

You may have wanted to throw in the towel a few times this year. As the year has progressed, it seems every time we take one step forward, we get knocked two steps back. But the battle is never won in our glorious moments with all the fanfare. Instead, it is often won in the trenches with how we get back up and keep going after getting knocked down. Perseverance is key to our survival, and it is not easy. Leaders who persevere will succeed in this uncertain year ahead, so instilling this ability in leadership development is vital.

Emotional Awareness Can Open Doors

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of being your authentic self. One thing 2020 has revealed is how we cope mentally and emotionally when our core needs and wants are disrupted. This year has taken an emotional toll on all of us. Good leaders should not only acknowledge that in their teams, but they need to be genuine about their own mental health through crisis. In short, it’s ok to not be ok. Developing the leaders of tomorrow with a sense of empathy, mental health awareness, and transparency can open doors, bring people closer, and help your business continue to grow in organic ways.

We all probably wish that when that balls drops, it would be like a light switch – putting everything back to normal. But that is not reality. We look to 2021 with so much hope and desire for normalcy – so much so, we can feel it in our bones. However, in that quest, let us not forget the lessons 2020 has taught us personally and professionally. These life lessons should be a foundational part of any leadership development initiative now and into the future – ensuring your leaders are prepared for the challenges that await them, no matter how big or how small.

Looking to give your leaders the skills they need to succeed in an uncertain world? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Smarter Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective during these unprecedented times, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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