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.