As the year draws to a close, it is a good opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate our lives.
The year 2020 has taught us several things, with different groups using various adjectives to describe it. Some called it a strange year, a difficult year, a challenging year, an unprecedented year etc.
Whichever way you choose to describe it, the year would definitely go down in history as the pandemic year - no doubt!
With all its uniqueness, I particularly welcomed the "slowing down of life's pace" and focusing on the simple things and realities of life, those times that bring us joy, yet often go un-noticed. There have been several highlights for me during the year but I particularly welcomed the alternative working arrangements - where would we be without Microsoft “Teams” and “Zoom”? I often wonder. I have found that those casual Zoom chats can be beneficial as they help to keep us connected. They have a way of instilling in us a sense of togetherness, joy and well-being.
Many employers provided some employment benefits such as free lunch, fruits, hot drinks - these were all lovely perks and made us feel happy especially those who went through family turmoil. It was also good to see colleagues looking out for each other and bringing in some positivity in the work place. There is power in having an attitude of gratitude. It produces positive energy as it shifts our focus from “have-not” to “have”.
This year has reminded me about the essence of collaborative working and leading by example. Leadership should not be about hierarchy or an opportunity to exert controls but it is about improving other people, bringing out the best in others so that they all work together to achieve a common goal. Leadership is not only about bringing change but involves accepting and respecting other human beings. It also focuses on the true values that improve our knowledge and character.
One of my passions is for the youth to align themselves to their full potential.
To be a leader, you would need to firstly know who you are. Are you a responsible young person? Are you respectful, hardworking and loyal?
If you are a young worker, it is good to identify employment that would value you, the knowledge and the skills you bring to the table, it really does make a difference. Leaders can be identified by their passion for growth – their eagerness to improve themselves and to expand not only their portfolio but also to inspire those around them. Organisation should provide opportunity for young leaders to explore their talents and gifts and to grow themselves. I am a great believer that leaders lead by example. Good leaders see the values in others and are willing to develop who will be suitable to continue the responsibility placed on them. They empower young leaders as they see the value / benefits in collaborations.
Just like a plant requires the sun and carbon dioxide to grow, a young leader with passion requires the freedom to decide that they want to lead. There is a saying that "experience is the best teacher". The young should be given the opportunity to lead - they will acquire leadership experience when they are giving the opportunity to lead. This is prevalent in sporting events, play / drama etc.
They would need to be given the necessary guidance so help navigate them through crisis, when things go wrong. Leadership starts within each of us. St Augustine stated that “what you wish to ignite in others must first burn within yourself”.
I have sometimes spoken to some young people including my children about this and I start with asking them how they make their thought work for them. I advise them to start with the "will-power" - it helps them to determine that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves.
The will power can be used to prepare and pass an important "milestone" examination. It can also be used to overcome a challenging time (just like the pandemic year we are going through right now). Will-power enables us to overcome chaos in our life by providing the energy needed for making changes.
What have you learnt about yourself this year? and What thoughts would you take into the New Year 2021?