Year End Reflection: Insights from 2022, and Encouragement for 2023

With 2022 coming to an end, I want to share with you what I’m noticing these days as I work with teams and leaders across the globe.

With the worst of COVID (hopefully) behind us, every week I’m talking with leaders like you, who desperately want to move forward; to put all the disruption, uncertainty, and stress behind them; and to finally have things work smoothly and effectively.

But now, unexpectedly, they’re experiencing new problems that seem more challenging than navigating the pandemic:

  • The implications of The Great Resignation and an unprecedented war to find and keep great talent
  • A looming recession
  • This elusive phenomenon called Quiet Quitting and team disengagement
  • And polarization within their team with some team members fighting for more flexibility and work-from-home options, while others wanting more structure and to be back in the office

I hear your frustration, and I understand the great deal of pressure and stress that you’re dealing with right now as a leader.

First, know that you’re not alone. There’s no magic playbook to navigate these current challenges and based on my experience working with different organizations every week, I can assure you that no one has this totally figured out.

Second, know that this is unlike any other leadership season in living history. It’s OK – it’s expected – that you don’t have all the answers and are experiencing a few bumps in the road.

I also what to share with you where I’m finding myself inspired and encouraged. Every week I work with brave leaders like yourself, who are experiencing all these challenges, yet are deliberate and determined to overcome them. Here are some of the ways they’re doing it:

On one hand, they’re crystal clear that relationships matter – and yes at times – being together matters. And they are strategic and unapologetic in finding ways to develop and leverage the relationships within their teams. As a result, their teams are reclaiming their collaborative potential, feeling a renewed sense of belonging, and are experiencing new levels of trust and phycological safety with one another.

At the same time, these leaders are recognizing that COVID gave us some unexpected gifts and are leveraging newly embraced technologies and previously unexplored flexible ways of working together.As a result, their teams are effectively collaborating in new ways, and satisfaction and engagement are increasing because staff realize that their leader understands and accommodates their complex life, and values and promotes work/life balance.

As a wrap up, I want to encourage you as a leader. You will get through this challenging season! And, although you wouldn’t choose to go through it, and hopefully will never have to repeat it, this season is making you a better leader, a braver leader, and a more thoughtful leader.

You do have what it takes. Stay strong and keep up the great work.

Let’s go crush 2023!

Tim Arnold

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