I was listening to a concert last night on Radio 2 with Rick Astley and the BBC concert orchestra. Rick led a rocking concert that was further enhanced by the wonderful orchestra. Why do I refer to this concert? In 2018 I wrote a blog around singer/songwriter Rick Astley and the release of his back then, new album entitled “A Beautiful Life”.
At that time, Rick said something very pertinent in answer to the question “Why a Beautiful Life? In his answer he explained that in fact he has had a beautiful life, with the exception of a few curveballs. Most importantly, he continued with words to the effect that it is all about how you look at life and how you regard things that are thrown at you and things that happen to you, and I might add things you do to yourself.
This comment has led me once again to think about life and the beauty of each day. This year has been an extremely challenging year for most people irrelevant of position, age or gender. Perhaps if you are Bill Gates your year has been rather exciting with the promise of producing a vaccine that is claiming to save the world from Covid19. That aside, with the difficulties of this year, it is easy to focus on how bad this year has been and to miss the small things that each and every one of us has access to.
What do we have to be grateful for in 2020?
Nature and the environment in which we live
Living in the Vale of the White Horse I have magnificent rolling countryside all around that is there for me to enjoy. The power of nature calms the sympathetic nervous system, decreasing the feelings of anxiety, low mood and frustration. Taking advantage of this gift is a daily occurrence for me and each time, irrelevant of weather, never ceases to be a beautiful experience. Living in England, most of us have access to a park, waterway or open space to enjoy.
Sadly this may not be true for everyone. However, I am personally grateful for my energy, health and overall wellbeing. 2020 has and still is challenging everyone’s health through lack of social contact, breathing in our own toxins expelled from the body through the requirement to wear a face mask in public. Living in an environment of fear which constantly keeps the immune system on alert, giving it no rest. The importance of being compassionate and kind to oneself and others is critical and will continue to be critical to supporting good health, likely well into the new year.
Wonderful, supportive clients
When things are tough, there is no better time to celebrate clients who are there for you and support you despite the constant changing circumstances. This makes being in business worthwhile and to each and every one of my clients I am extremely grateful and thank you for your continued support.
Understanding team members
The stress and pressure on team members to make the move to work from home, and make a good job of it, overcoming external barriers, such as noise, fluctuating internet connection whilst balancing work and family demands and stabilising a boss who is trying hard to work with government decisions that impact the business climate as well as provide security. For your understanding, I am very grateful.
Those who check in from time to time to touch base and take the temperature of how I am adapting to the new working requirements, lending an ear to vent thoughts and frustrations as and when needed. To each and everyone of you, I send heart felt thanks.
This year has been a year that has opened up many doors that perhaps we did not want to go through, such as how we interact and care for others in our communities, especially those we do not know. How truthful we are and how truthful are those around us, especially those in leadership positions? Are we protecting our comfort zones, lifestyles and image in sacrifice for having the courage to speak the truth, supposedly fooling all those we lead, or have we withdrawn to a safe place to see out the battle?
This year Covid has forced us to choose how we resonate and look at “setbacks”, one that is common to our global population. Are you a person who has reacted emotionally in some way and festered on the consequences, or have you taken the opportunity to understand the message, learn, grow and develop, thus moving yourself forward from under the Covid cloud? In the first place, your choice has probably been based on a combination of how you perceive this situation, your intuition and the facts.
One of the most important aspects of working through perceived negative situations is the emotional aspect of the situation. Currently “it” just happens to represent the impact of Covid on each one of us personally, combined with the impact of government decisions, whether you agree with them or you do not. Emotions experienced might be anger, frustration, bitterness, disbelief, shame and guilt amongst others.
Harbouring emotions is both unproductive and damaging mentally and ultimately physically. To be an effective leader we need to be able to rise above any situation and look at the cause of why something happened, rectify it with those involved through helping them understand why this particular approach was not constructive, giving necessary guidance on a more constructive way to approach the situation, agreeing on a way forward. Always avoiding the desire or need to blame someone or something, allowing those involved to take responsibility for their actions, change behaviour, and therefore grow and develop from the experience.
As Rick Astely so carefully and clearly put it – “Life is beautiful”. It’s all about how you see it? Leadership, whilst it can be challenging, is beautiful for all concerned, those being led and those doing the leading. It all depends firstly on how we see each situation and each person, secondly how we react to it and thirdly how grateful we are for all the little things that when added up are considerable, attracting more of the same.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy and beautiful 2021.
To find out more about how Green Key can help you and your leadership journey, contact Rachel directly.
New here? Rachel writes about leadership development, communication and customer excellence, including health and well-being at work. You can read similar blogs here: