Have you learned to embrace uncertainty and change? Or, are you struggling to find clarity and direction while planning out your 2021 business goals amidst the pandemic and changing political climate? This past year didn’t go as expected and taught us the importance of being agile and adaptive. But leaders at their core are planners, and many are feeling overwhelmed and anxious heading into the new year. How can you make the most of this time to prepare for the upcoming year when so much is in the air?
 

… Control what you can control.

 
You can control your thoughts.
 
Is negativity clouding your judgment as a leader? Negativity is contagious and will not only impact your mental health (as well as your employees’) but also your business. Having the right mental attitude is paramount for achieving your business goals. You’ve heard about the law of attraction – what you focus on, expands. There will always be fires, distractions, and COVID-like disasters that can throw you for a loop. Don’t let the world’s craziness keep you and your business from reaching its fullest potential.
 
Manifest your success by never losing sight of your goals. Do you want great clients and customers? Focus on what you desire and do the work to make it happen. Check out this blog post I wrote a few months ago with tips on how to reframe your way of thinking.
 
You can control your actions.
 
The actions and decisions you make today will determine your future success. During times of uncertainty, stay laser-focused on your goals while being flexible on the steps you take to reach them. Instead of a set-it-and-forget-it annual plan, address your goals more frequently in 2021 to be sure you’re staying the course. Be proactive and set a plan in case the economy shuts down again. Think strategically and break your big challenges down into small increments to give your team attainable targets to hit.
 

… Think about what is possible vs. what isn’t.

 
Use data to drive your decision making.
 
Uncertainty is not the same as ignorance. Use this time to gather as much data as you can from over the past year to form a clear picture of how the pandemic impacted your business. Take some time to perform a complex analysis of how your business faired during the economic shutdown, how recovery is going, what factors continue to impact your business, and what you’ll need to do differently in 2021. Are there any gaps of information you’re missing?
 
Be realistic.
 
No one knows how long the pandemic (and the recovery period) will last, or how it will ultimately shape our economy and how we do business. For now, focus on operating in the “new normal.” Does your vision for your organization align with today’s market? Reset the status quo and shift your priorities.
 

… Determine what you can truly influence.

 
Invest in your team.
 
These are unsettling times for your employees, too. Your team is doing their best while juggling added responsibilities of childcare/virtual learning, increased distractions in a work-from-home environment, and/or increased stress of being a frontline or in-office worker while COVID-19 cases continue to spike. How can you best support them during this time?
 
Investing in your people will make them feel valued and enable them to better themselves (which in the long run will benefit your company with an up-skilled and productive workforce). Even if you don’t see their faces every day, continue to have conversations about your employees’ long-term and short-term goals. Find virtual ways to help them reach these goals. Empower your people to support one another and create a culture of learning.
 
Maintain strong customer relationships.
 
It can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Stay in touch with your customers, even if they are buying fewer goods and services from you. Let them know you appreciate them and find ways to make it easier for them to do business with you. As your customers are encouraged to stay home and social distance, focus on your virtual user experience. Make your website and online selling platforms a priority to improve upon in 2021.
 
Take time to give back.
 
Your local community is hurting right now. How can your organization help? There are many ways business owners and executives can use their power to improve the local economy. If possible, source from local suppliers and manufacturers to spend more money in your city with the people who live there. Also, consider serving on a community board or finding ways to get involved in local government. These organizations are full of other influential people who want to hear your voice and can connect you to the community in new ways.
 
Find more ways to increase your influence on this blog post.
 
Where should you focus your efforts in 2021? Take our Five Disciplines Assessment to pinpoint your organization’s strengths, weaknesses and areas in need of improvement within your business’s Strategy, Business Development, People, Execution and Mission. Grow exponentially, even during these uncertain times. Contact me today for a complimentary strategy session or to help facilitate your strategic thinking execution planning for 2021!