Focus on today
As the New Year heralds the usual messages of resolutions and beginnings, we pause to consider how this New Year we might be different.
Last year felt unprecedented in terms of the surprises that played out on the world stage, and the subsequent uncertainty that we start the year with is both worrying and hopeful.
We encourage ourselves to chose hope over worry: “ hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act” R. Solnit
But because of this uncertainty we may choose not to launch into usual new year, new resolutions activity, but instead to take the opportunity this year to use this uncertainty to have a more reflective and measured start: to better consider the complex issues society, organisations, teams and indeed individuals are facing
It may be more appropriate in the space of this uncertainty to consider instead the ‘ seeds’ of change that we want to grow and also how we can right now be more of who we want to be? To consider less the journey and the destination and more how we choose to show up today?
So with this intention, we at Development Potential intend to continue to focus on growing the seed of collaboration: leaders working collectively through enhanced dialogue and deeper relationships. We believe with a passion that this is the only leadership model for success for the organisations of tomorrow. Our research thus far on what most makes a difference is clear: for systems to connect well, the more others are able to see the others’ perspective, the greater the collaboration.
And this entails truly focusing on the other: a skill that on the one hand is simple and yet on the other hand very hard to do well. It involves our being fully present in the moment in order to pay attention to the other, to truly listen and understand. We all know this, but our challenge to ourselves as the year kicks off is to recognise that we so rarely slow ourselves down sufficiently, or to unclutter our minds, or be energised enough to be fully ‘there’ for others
So the other seed we continue to grow is that of looking after ourselves: to be resilient in order to sustain ourselves in this time of uncertainty: which in turn will lead to enhanced leadership and increased collaboration. We build resilience in a number of different ways: through physically taking more care of our diet and exercise and sleep, through flexible and resourceful thinking, through having a clear sense of why we are doing what we are doing, through reaching out to others for support, and through regulating our emotions to be able to be on an even keel.
As with collaborative leadership, we also know this, but usually, when the going gets tough we place ourselves at the bottom of the pile. The difference we want for ourselves, and we hope for you for this year is to really prioritise looking after ourselves. This will ensure that when we move to action we are at our best, and consequently, the outcomes will much more likely be commensurate with our hope(s).
Happy New Year!