Last year I was lucky enough to meet author Matt Levy who wrote the book, Keeping Your Head Above Water. As an ocean swimmer myself, the title was enough to prick up my ears, but I soon realised his teachings, released in a Pandemic year, are profound and echo my own approaches to resilience, writes Sharon Williams, founder of Taurus Marketing.
It bought it home to me firmly, that all our learnings and hardships this year should help prepare us as better leaders for the new challenges of 2021. Like Matt’s story of hardship, the experiences from the past year provide the possibility to carry great things into 2021 and make it the most successful year of your business life to date.
What makes Matt more believable in his advice, was that he was born at 25 weeks premature, which caused cerebral palsy, he has had over 50 operations, is certified blind and in spite of this has become a Paralympic medallist and has an Order of Australia.
If we thought this year was a challenge, the life-long obstacles Matt has had to overcome are overwhelming.
The message? In times of hardship, there is always hope, in spite of all we may experience.
Turning adversity into opportunity is what we do as business leaders.
Here are a few shared strategies for success in 2021
Learn from 2020
Recognise 2020 has been hard, embrace it and let it go. Learn from the events of this year and file them away for future reference and consultation. It’s OK to make mistakes but not OK to keep making them. The lessons learned from 2020 will shape who you are in business forever. List them down and strategise to overcome them, so you are ready next time round. The GFC prepared me so much better for COVID as I acted from the lessons I learned at that time.
Set the end goal first
Just like the TaurusBullseye©, define what success looks like for you in 20201, set measurable goals and targets. It’s a hard road to travel if you haven’t defined the finish line and know where you are heading. Set the goal and work backwards, so that getting there is all the faster and familiar.
If you are in business for a long time, it is all about reinvention and continuously improving. Take one step at a time. Just like getting personally fit, pick your objectives and vision and break down business goals into sizeable chunks moving forward in incremental steps. Each small step is heading in the right direction. Which is why starting now to plan 2021 is a good way to begin. What will be your new 2021 bullseye?
There is nothing like a pandemic to transform the way businesses operate. 2021 is a chance to review how you do things and how you have always done them. Be prepared to throw past habits away as you look to new ways of doing things. Covid has given us all a chance to review, re-engage and transform our businesses into a new level of excellence. How can you evolve your business in 2021?
Australia is a small market and it’s easy to become inward looking. There is a whole world out there to continuously research new trends and learn how your industry is operating in different regions. COVID gave us extraordinary insights into how each country dealt with the pandemic and it was a great way to look at the best and the worst reactions, leadership styles and get a clear vision on best practice. Check out what is happening in your industry globally and think through how you will react.
COVID 19 has hit many business owners and families hard. But there are so many lessons that will set business owners up stronger and better in 2021. It’s about looking for those lessons and making them a part of your new year. As Matt Levy says “I had obstacles put in front of me that I never thought I could get over. But the lessons I have learnt along the way enhance us and our businesses. It is through these experiences that success is born’’.
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