It’s a new year, and the pundits are calling 2021 the Year of Transition. If anything has changed, it has been that we have acclimated to a new way of working and living.
There are definite perks to this, but there have also been major drawbacks which have caused us to abandon much of what we know and adopt a learner’s mindset out of necessity.
Admit it – it’s been rough. Many of you reading this are tired. And some of you have called me, asking me how you can get your head back into the game.
What does it take to reenergize and motivate you as leader so that you can lead your life and work in 2021?
I work primarily with top executives to recreate future, working with their respective teams and companies, and also in small leadership groups where CEOs can put their heads together to share experiences and ideas. When we work on meeting the future, motivation of self is a hot topic.
And here is what we know: the head game of motivation requires that you focus on three things:
Energy and engagement come from purpose. After weathering the initial shock and challenges of 2020, your physical and mental stores may be depleted. Revisiting your purpose is a first necessary step to picking back up. Why do you lead? What impact do you hope to make? What legacy are you seeking to create? If you keep pushing forward but cannot answer these questions, you will be headed for burnout. I invite you to take time to reflect on this. Call a coach or trusted advisor and talk through this. Because anything sustainable starts with purpose.
Know where you are headed. It is true that long-term planning is no longer valid due to the volatility and uncertainty around the future of work. Instead, one must use shorter-term planning to head in a general direction, and continuously bench against the changes in the business landscape. Keep your organizational vision at the forefront as you acquire the personal agility needed to meet goals and objectives. This particular step requires that you also open up to the perspectives of others. Seasoned leaders are comfortable doing things in the familiar way. And the word familiar is one that will not be used often in 2021.
Leadership has been lonely, but then, we haven’t learned how to share it very well. Leading forward now requires the shift from “me” to “we,” for connection, mutual support and collective accountability. Inviting your executive team to share the vision is a first step, but the next is to allow them to share in greater responsibilities – the kind that ignites their purpose, as well. Raising the tenor of team energy is the magic we need to create great things together. Where do you start? Begin with a conversation around this topic. Ask for their ideas and feedback, ask what it would take for them to get excited around the idea. I believe this might be one of the most meaningful brainstorming you will have experienced for a long time – and it can yield great fruit.
My wish for you in 2021 is to know that you have what it takes (I know some of you question this at this time). My challenge to you is to rediscover your purpose and direction, and to create that synergy that will lift you up, as well as your team, so that you can move confidently to meet the future.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.