If 2020 is the year of perfect hindsight, what has it revealed?
Reflection is an essential part of making conscious decisions and developing as a leader.
The lockdowns during Spring 2020 forced us to reflect, so long as we were able to process the shock and grief.
Prior to COVID, I had grown more and more concerned about the limited bandwidth and increasing responsibility of leaders and how that inhibits leaders’ ability to allocate adequate time for reflection. In 2018, 268 million vacation days went unused in the US! Research cited and promoted by Shawn Achor demonstrates the critical nature of taking vacations for professional growth, as well as the data that proves that companies will enjoy higher productivity and engagement when they encourage employees to use their vacation time.
One of the silver linings of lockdown was finally having this reflection time. For some, it offered grace.
It seems, however, there are some things happening right now are increasingly concerning. Number one is that everything is ramping back up, and companies are forced to play catch-up in order to achieve their annual budgets and maintain their workforce. In comparison to when things were slow, and in addition to the extra responsibilities that many workers are shouldering in terms of childcare limitations and virtual learning, leaders and workers alike are experiencing increasing overwhelming burnout.
For the companies without conscious leadership who failed to address and recognize how the pandemic and civil unrest has been impacting their employees, burnout is most certainly inevitable, if it hasn’t already happened. Women, in particular, have been leaving the workforce at numbers that signal not only a setback for gender equality, but a sign that we have not come as far as we hoped. This will certainly widen the gender pay gap and leave more women in a position to be dependent on their spouses.
Speaking of civil unrest, 2020 has been an awakening for the country on the prevalence and impacts of systemic racism from our police to our boardrooms.
While the field of human resources has been growing in vigilance against biases, political biases have not only divided Americans further by party, but has also divided families, neighbors, and friends!
The pandemic has made more obvious the disparities between classes and how financially fragile and vulnerable so many Americans are, especially minorities and small business owners.
We have the chance to use the hindsight gained from 2020 and make 2021 the year we bridge our future as a country, as companies, as a community, and as a family. Let’s consider January 2021 as a rebirthday.
Be the bridge!
- Make sure your company’s leaders are getting adequate time for reflection and employees are taking ample vacation.
- Evaluate and correct the gender disparities and childcare shortcomings that are impacting families today. Keep in mind that the kids of today become the leaders and solution providers of tomorrow. They need their parents’ time and attention!
- If you are white, educate yourself about white privilege and fragility. Learn about redlining. Acknowledge and address the real barriers to racial equality in the workforce.
- Refute your political biases. We cannot unify while we vilify.
- Support your local businesses as much as you can. Give to your local food banks as much as you can. Check-in on your friends who have been laid off and be proactive in helping them find opportunities!
What other bridges can you build using perfect 2020 hindsight to make sure that we don’t go back to “normal”, but rather move forward toward EPIC.
Epic Careering makes work better for more people. We can support you as a leader to become more influential in building these bridges through the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint.
Branding is the bridge that connects your past and present to your professional future. Is 2021 the year you turn a successful career into a fulfilling legacy? Contact Epic Careering now for a consultation!
Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006.
While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.
Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.
She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.
She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.