As we close the book on the Christmas of 2020, we all will have stories to tell.
Stories of new traditions, and the loss of old ones. We will tell stories of the distance and the social isolation felt when opening presents in real time miles apart. Some of us will tell the stories of the empty chair at the dinner table as a loved one lost their battle to COVID.
No matter who we are, we will not come out of 2020 unscathed. Regardless of our differences, we will all share the impact, great and small, this year 2020 has had upon us.
Following a Zoom call with four generations of family today, I wondered what the future would hold for us. From my mother, the matriarch of our family well into her eighties, to the youngest great grandchild a rambunctious three-year old.
As I thought about the world he would inherit, it all came back to me. It will be the world that we will leave for him. As we head into the year 2021, and take another turn around the sun, what the world will need will be leadership for all my great nephews’ tomorrows.
The leadership to move us beyond 2020 will need to be focused, it will need to be wise and calm, and it will need to be purpose-driven. This leadership will need to be authentic, transparent, and willing to be vulnerable. We must disrupt the status quo as we take this next turn around the sun. We must not be willing to settle for opinions that divide us or deny our common humanity. Through the lens of cultural relativism, we must exist. No, we must co-exist.
As leaders we must be willing to speak truth to power. We must refocus and rebalance our priorities. We must be willing to reframe the dialogue and stop blaming each other for what ails us. We are all guilty of the world we find ourselves in.
As leaders, we must be willing to take the risk of going against the status quo, of bucking the trend if we are going to move past 2020. As we make this next turn around the sun, we must refocus on purpose. We must ask ourselves, why do we exist and how do we make that existence better for every man, woman, and child on this planet. I am not talking about socialism; I’m talking about our humanity. I am talking about the fact that every animal on this planet has enough for its own existence, except when man puts a price tag on it for greed. Refocusing our purpose means we ask ourselves as leaders, “what more can I do, or what more must be done?”
At the end of the day, we are all humans dealing with life’s challenges. While we can compartmentalize them as professional and personal challenges…they are all challenges to who we are as human beings.
As we make this next turn around the sun, the success of our humanity will lie in our ability as leaders to act quickly, confidently, and boldly. It will require agility of thought and holding fast to vision and the purpose of leaving a world better than we found it. A world that my three-year old great nephew can inherit with pride.
And that’s a brilliant glimpse of insight.
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