Happy New Year and Lessons Learned
Happy New Year to the ALMA community of laboratory leaders. 2020 was a tough year in both our personal and business lives and also a tough year for ALMA. A new year, especially after a challenging one, brings hope that things will be better. The adversity and challenges of 2020 gave us the opportunity to become better managers and leaders. I’d like to share with you and build on some of the points that the John Maxwell Company posted in a recent blog entitled “Four Leadership Lessons From 2020 That We can Take Into 2021.”
- Challenging times show our character and what kind of leader we are. 2021 brings hope but, no year will be without challenges. Have we learned to face challenges head-on, look for opportunities in them and make the best of them or will we groan about them and let the challenges defeat us?
- We learned in 2020 that we can never be totally prepared for the unknowns of the future. The pandemic brought unforeseen changes in how and where we had to work that many of us were not prepared for. An important lesson is that we must face the reality of change, address it, and be flexible.
- There is no where to hide in a crisis. When things are going well, it’s easier for people to get by with lower performance and poorer communication and people skills. A crisis requires a high level of performance in all aspects from leadership and the entire team. Issues exposed during a crisis should be addressed before the next one.
- Hope is a choice. Leaders who embrace hope and do not act out of desperation lay out realistic plans and measures to overcome the challenges. They do not convey false hope or expectations but show confidence in what they doing to overcome the issues. Their realistic hope is contagious and motivating. Moves that are done out of desperation can have the opposite effect.
- I’d like to add one more lesson to the four offered by John Maxwell and that is we learned the critical importance of two basic leadership skills: trust and communication. Teams working remotely, newly implemented shift work and social distancing were successful only through mutual trust and placing a premium on frequent and open communication.
ALMA leadership is ready and determined to make 2021 a better year. We invite all of you to continue your leadership journey with us through the ALMA monthly management tips, webinars, and our next live conference scheduled for October 2021 in Louisville.