Yes, 2020 was a lost year for many of us, a time warp, a wrinkle in time, a year of lost friends and family members, a time when change rushed at us like a cold north wind, a time that challenged hope, a time that rocked our stability. But was it a lost year?
Many children lost a year of learning because of poor planning, lack of support, lack of technology, lack of socialization, and disorganization. Many people lost a year of work due to layoffs, failed businesses, and poor economic conditions.
But others thrived. Students in systems with good technology, competent teachers, and administrators adapted to the challenging situation and learned, not just the subject matter, but new ways of communicating and working together. Similarly, organizations and workers faced challenges and developed new ways of working together and meeting new goals. Ask these people if it was a lost year, and we’d hear stories of innovation and new ideas.
Time warps bring new opportunities. Innovation thrives. Old ways are challenged. Some leaders step up. Others fade away. What determined the difference? Many things, but surely attitude was one factor in whether the year was “lost” or “newly found.”
Good leaders search for opportunities in the midst of chaos. Through experimentation they test new paths, learning as they go. They convert uncertainty into a direction. They point the way through the fog.
A time warp, yes. A lost year, no.