With 2020 officially behind us, it’s time to focus on the opportunity of 2021! The workplace has a good, albeit flexible handle on the fact that we must provide new skills for employees, teams and cultures to meet the demand of the future. Let’s go 2021!
Remote, socially distanced, outside or in lock down, businesses and their leaders are ready to make up for lost time and navigate the future. The theme with which we are all approaching our comeback is a combination of gratitude, caring, people, community and impact for others.
Both individually and organizationally we are craving, wanting, needing, planning and orchestrating “The Purposeful Comeback.” It’s a framework to create next generation leadership that will see our organizations into the future. Mastering “The Purposeful Comeback” roadmap and tools below will help you create real and lasting success, growth, business results, and engagement for your people and workplace culture.
1. Winning Mindset and Energy
Companies don’t outperform their leadership and the same is true of teams. Creating a purposeful comeback in 2021 starts first with focusing on leadership using integrated purpose as the path to organizational success. We as individuals must show up every day as our best self. That means putting on your oxygen mask first – you can’t help anyone if you don’t first help yourself.
Your mindset really, really matters. Everyone from Marcus Aurelius to the Buddha to Victor Frankl and lately the best, Mel Robbins, has shown us how important thoughts and beliefs are in creating success for ourselves and others. To stage “The Purposeful Comeback” in 2021 we must cultivate a mindset that is positive, self-aware, growth-minded (see Carol Dweck’s phenomenal book, Mindset), and other-focused. Changing our mindset is about changing that talk track in our head.
We know that moving your body daily has a positive effect on the mind. Studies have shown that “exercise improves brain function, structure, and connectivity. These brain improvements are directly linked to improved learning, memory, and cognitive function.” Showing up as a leader in 2021 starts with taking care of the temple and setting aside time for the essentials: exercise and nutrition, adequate sleep, and recharging. We must make them a daily habit.
2. The Audience is the Hero of Any Story You Tell…So Make Them One!
Want to become a real purposeful leader? Figure out how to create meaningful followers. Create meaningful followers through this simple basic tool: learn how to build relationships from the inside out. First, with yourself and then with others.
You know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. But do you know and understand the Platinum Rule?
The Platinum Rule says this: treat others how they want to be treated. It’s other-focused and becoming other-focused is what you need to really succeed in the year ahead. Putting the focus on treating others how they want to be treated will help you build stronger relationships and relationships are the key to success. Make them the hero because they are! Use these two principles to help you:
-Remember WIFTHEM: This is an acronym for “What’s in it for them.” In every interaction, positive or negative, you must consider what the other person wants and how they are looking to benefit.
-Consider the Action: What action do you want your audience to take that can and will benefit them? This action will benefit you, too, of course.
3. Know Thyself to Help Others
Impact is created by working from the inside out. If you want to help others you must Know Thyself. If you don’t know or understand yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to get it wrong with others.
So, how do you start? First, just START. We teach the following framework to our clients inside our new on-demand coaching product, Hooga. Knowing yourself comes from really understanding and being able to articulate the following four core concepts about yourself:
- Values, Passions, and Skills
This is the value you bring to others and the world. Getting really clear on this allows you to demonstrate your value to your peers, team, and clients.
4. What’s Your Story?
Humans have always told stories. From huddling around a fire to hieroglyphics to books to the vlogs, blogs, and podcasts of today, we have an innate desire to share our own stories and discover those of others. Storytelling allows you to captivate an audience, shape thoughts, and communicate purpose and value.
What do you do? Why do you do it? What impact do you create? Why does it matter to you, to your client, to the world?
Remember, your story is not a script. It’s not static or boring. It recognizes the audience and what’s important to them, then captivates them through the use of humor, drama, and narrative arcs. Want to learn to create impact? Then become your own best storyteller.
5. The New ABC’s “Always Be Connecting”: Bridge the Gap
We all come to the workplace with different life experiences, skills, and values. We come from different generations, cultures, and backgrounds. We are driven by the need for human interaction, to belong, to be part of a community. We are better together, and we know that (more on that in a second), yet technology, socioeconomic disparity, and generational differences easily divide us.
To seize the opportunity of 2021, we have to find a way to bridge the gap between us so we can pull together and connect. COVID-19 and remote work certainly hasn’t made this any easier. It’s also forced us to acknowledge the diversity (or lack thereof) in our workplaces and community. 64% of applicants say that they consider diversity and inclusion when considering a job, yet only 55% of people think their organizations have policies to promote it. Even more troubling, 90% of them say they’re not treated with respect at work, discriminated against, and even harassed.
This means it’s even more important that we make this the year we figure it out once and for all. Learn how to connect pure and simple. There are so many ways. Just one way we devised is our B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap system, an integrated six-step plan that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and your workplace.
We cannot do it alone. You know that and I know that. Yet the greatest dysfunction of teams persists in our workplaces today. For some organizations, getting their teams to work together efficiently and in harmony is one of their greatest challenges.
Solving the team divide starts by focusing on and ensuring these principles are present in your workplace:
6. It’s Better Together: Teams
- Do your people feel safe enough to share their ideas, true opinions, and feelings?
- Is your workplace culture one that empowers, connects, and inspires?
- Are your employees engaged and connected to the purpose and impact of their work?
- Is everyone on the team working in alignment with the team’s values?
- Is there a culture of trust in your workplace?
- Do people communicate with each other effectively, openly, and often.
- Do you empower accountability? Do you ask great questions?
- Got a strategic vision or plan and is it shared universally?
7. Make Culture Last: Sustainability
In order to drive and sustain “The Purposeful Comeback,” you need to do the work and then create a system. An integrated system to sustain culture and engagement is necessary for our organizations.
Your system will need different parts, so ask yourself what that system would look like in your organization and what it should include. We recommend having systems to create and sustain purpose, to grow the next generation of leaders and develop their skills, to share in a purposeful vision and story and that all employees be able to articulate it and their own value, and to further coach employees to be their best, work from the inside out, and deliver on the organization’s core values. Start now by devising your system.
8. Pay it Forward: Cultivating Disciples
Seizing the opportunity of 2021 and creating “The Purposeful Comeback” is about looking to the future of your organization. What comes next? Who will lead in five years? In ten? How will you continue to evolve and stay relevant in a changing world?
Create those next generation leaders (your disciples) from within. Get clear on your purpose, define it, live it, and then empower your people to buy into that purpose. When you can do that, then you’ll become known to clients, the market, and even potential employees. Look at all the top companies of today. Most were once unknown operations working out of someone’s garage. They got really clear on their purpose, wove it into the fabric of everything they do, and then the world caught on and embraced them.
You can do the same in your organization. You have all the tools you need. Start now with this roadmap to cultivating your Purposeful Comeback in 2021 and if we can help, please reach out. You control what happens to you, your team, and your organization this year. Start now to make it the best year yet and maximize your impact!