Thinking About Work in 2021: It's Probably Time To Get Out of the Fetal Position...
December 29, 2020
It's the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and for me that means I'm working, but a bit reflective on the year we've just had. That's me every year during this time, but obviously, 2020 makes you reflect even deeper.
As I think about 2020 and what I want for me, my company and the world of work in 2021, one phrase comes to mind:
"Let's Get Out of the Fetal Position"
There's a multiple reasons that 2020 put a bunch of incredible people on the defensive about doing their best work:
--Widespread Social Change
--Cancel Culture, Virtue Signaling and Shaming for anyone who dares to stray from the promoted mainstream media norm on the issues above
Add it all up, and it's fair to say that most of us haven't done our best work in 2020. And that's a shame, because so many of you are kick ass talents at what you do. But there's been risk in 2020, and you did what you had to do.
Congrats, you made it through.
What comes next?
For me, I have to get back to playing offense. That's where I'm at my best, and on most of the issues where I might stray from the promoted mainstream media norm, there's no question in my mind that my views are valid and deserving of a view.
Of course, there's also the value of doing the work the right way. Check out this great video of JJ Watt of the Houston Texans talking about doing the work and why it's important. I watched it and thought about all the excuses that are around us why we shouldn't be at our best at our companies. Are many of those reasons valid in 2020? Sure - but the question is how long does all the change we've experienced in 2020 impact the work you do in a negative way?
The work, as it turns out, deserves the best you. The people around you remember the best you - the pre-2020 version. They believe in that version of you, and you owe it to them, the business and yourself to provide that.
Work matters. But half-assed, scared work matters much less than the best version you can provide.
My biggest resolution for 2021 is to get back to playing offense.
What about you?
There's a huge hidden upside to 2020 - that HR and Talent work that was "in the background" moved to the forefront and became crucially important to the C-Suite during this shitty pandemic year. "Behind the curtain great work" became "In the spotlight great work" and we need to take advantage of that newfound visibility at the top. And if you found yourself on the defensive when the spotlight landed on you, well then it's time to turn the tables in 2021 and show your offense before the spotlight moves on. Kick ass in 2021 and make no apologies for it. We owe it to our profession and ourselves.
Posted by: Ed | January 03, 2021 at 06:36 PM
Yah, reacting (VUCA) was the name of the game in 2020. But, enough with the talk, and we can now start really with reinvention (vs. romanticizing "normal" and pretending nothing happened).
So, where can we find the energy after an exhausting year?
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