So, What About 2022?

As we head toward the end of this year, our minds should be turning towards next year and the opportunity to re-establish purpose, vision and focus. Of course, this opportunity exists throughout the year, but we tend to draw hard boundaries at year-end. And given the turmoil caused by COVID-19 over the last two years, and likely continuing into the next, it is even more important that the opportunity to speak into 2022 is not missed.

Active Knowledge Question:

What comes to mind when you think about next year?

Life, Leadership and Business

New Year resolutions are, for many people, something to joke about. We all, at one time or another, make them and then break them. But in the context of re-establishing purpose, vision and focus, we are in a totally different ballpark and should in no way be confused with the New Year resolution.

Re-anchoring, casting vision and drawing focus is how I would express the task and challenge that lies ahead for any leader but honestly for all of us.

The uncertainty that the local and global response to COVID-19 has and continues to cause calls out to all of us to respond and not to linger and wait any longer for someone else to provide an answer. In many respects, it has been a waiting game for the last two years, but now it is time to move and build momentum in all aspects of our lives and businesses.

In life, we should strive to achieve in all things that are important to us as individuals. In leadership, we must enable those whom we lead to bring their full potential to the forefront. And in business, our task is to compete; to bring the real competitiveness of that business to its chosen marketplace. And this expanding circle — achieve, enable, compete — starts with us as individuals and then grows outward as our individual strength and capability compounds.

If you are not an achiever, you will not be able to enable others to achieve, and if you cannot enable others, then there is no way that you will be able to draw and focus the full competitive potential of any business. So it starts with you as an individual and builds out from that core.

Always bear in mind that the core competitive strength of any business lies in its people, and a leader’s role is to muster the combined effort and talent of every single person working within and with that business. And this is achieved through the elements of the competitive engine that exists within every business and is best anchored by individuals who are achievers at all levels of a business.

As you cast your imagination to 2022, the image you build should encompass you as an achiever, you as an enabler and you as a leader who can not only strengthen the competitive fitness of your business but bring it to bear on your chosen marketplace.

The starting point is to create an image and narrative for 2022 that will spark movement, seed commitment, build momentum, and compound real competitive strength at all levels — life, leadership and business.

Doubts, Fears and Uncertainty

Many hurdles have been created and empowered over the last two years that must be addressed. These hurdles may impact your personal ability to achieve, to enable others to step forward, and drag on the competitiveness of an entire business. Here are some brief thoughts on where these hurdles may lie:

  • The last two years have seeded doubts, fears and uncertainty in many people from all walks of life, age and backgrounds across all aspects of their lives. The patterns and routines that people had established in their lives were disrupted and questioned. What is safe, who can you mix with, where can you go, who can you trust, where is support, and how secure is my future, to name a few.
  • Plans that were set in concrete may have now been demolished. What we thought our futures would look like may now be lost.
  • The confidence we held in our health, financial position, future career, relationships may well have been shaken or destroyed.

For those impacted as above, self-confidence will need to be restored and that will require a positivity, a plan, encouragement and the courage to step forward again.

Life for many will have changed. The question becomes one of, ‘what does that mean’? The experiences of the past two years will have reset the boundaries and goals for many, and things that were accepted in the past will no longer carry the same importance or priority.

To achieve, to enable and to compete in 2022 will require empathy and humility so that the right path forward can be discerned. Don’t simply pull out from your draw the old messaging, as it may no longer have the impact that you desire.

Anchor, Vision and Focus

To engage passion, commitment, creativity, imagination, giving and community, you should pause, reflect, listen (inside and outside) and then craft the voice, the words and image that will connect in igniting a quest for 2022 and beyond.

A quest that will take you, and those whom you seek to lead, forward with a clear vision, commitment and an energy to adapt and overcome any challenges that will emerge.

There will be three elements to your quest:

  • Purpose: What are we seeking to achieve? What is righteous? What will give us, and others, a pride in our daily activity? Purpose and motive go hand in hand, and motive should never be founded in self-interest nor a profit-first motive. The right motive magnifies and compounds a competitive strength; the wrong motive disperses and neutralises it. Choose a purpose that will seed the right motive and draw that strength forward.
  • Vision: Enticing, exciting, challenging, inspiring — these are the traits that your vision should possess. A vision that appeals and compels. A vision that must be delivered. Your vision will form the glue and the fuel to make the impossible real.
  • Focus: No doubt about what is right. Simple guiding principles answering every question. Absolute clarity on what the next step is and an energy to make that happen.

Your message to yourself, to those whom you lead, and the business which you seek to make great must be authentic and real; not borrowed, not rehashed, not subcontracted out but crafted to entice passion and commitment from all who it touches. And that starts with you. If you are not excited by the quest you craft, then no one else will be. Success in 2022 and beyond commences with you striking the achiever spark within you and then passing it to others and your entire business.

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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel

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