Letter to Leaders – January 2022


When I was growing up, my father disdained the concept of being sick. If my sister or I didn’t feel well, he was empathetic but always pointed to his head and said, “Remember — it’s all in the mind.”

I’ve had a number of conversations in the past month or so that have contained these #hashtags:

There’s a palpable sense of frustration among the leaders I speak with, which can be summarized this way:

We’re getting by but we’re not getting ahead.

So how do we get ahead when it seems like we’re endlessly treading water?

We are not the same people we were before the pandemic. That’s actually OK. We’re all in the same ocean. But that doesn’t mean we should abandon the principles that got us to where we are today.

In my professional and personal life, I’ve never accomplished anything without a plan and goals. But the paradox of planning in these times is knowing they can be upended at any time. It’s easier to tread water and adapt to change rather than setting goals and relentlessly focusing on achieving them—regardless of COVID.

But to hell with it. I’m tired of treading water. I must return to the era of goal-setting and planning (and the plans) to achieve them.

I’m going to take you along for this ride.

Back to basics.

Reflection & Planning is the theme this month.

What went right? What went wrong? What can we do differently, or better?

Then—what are our goals? What do we want as leaders, how do we get there; and what’s our game plan? How can we serve our team with the tools they need to help us succeed?

What’s working and what’s not? And who’s doing well and who’s not?

It’s time to get back to moving forward. If we can begin with what we’ve learned, we’ll be able to create a plan. And goals.

And then we’ll adapt to change—not from a position of treading water, but a position of adjusting our speed forward.

My sister and I missed zero days of school because of illness.

Maybe it is all in the mind.

Happy New Year.

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