Lessons and Intentions for 2021

As we say goodbye to an unprecedented year of sadness and pain and concurrently, a year filled with valuable lessons, I wanted to share how I am collecting this year’s moments into next year’s actions both personally and professionally.

1. Double down on focusing on what’s in your control. Clarify and manage your critical priorities.

2020 was an unparalleled year of crisis. Our nation suffered. Business shuttered and lives were lost. Though hope is on the horizon with approved vaccines, we are still in the midst of coronavirus chaos, it might seem like the world is upside down and all of your priorities are fundamentally different. But the best-run organizations tend to have a sense of True North and stay focused on a few key priorities in times of crisis, such as:

Taking care of customers.

Supporting our employees.

Communicating with stakeholders.

Engaging with the community.

Moments like we experienced in 2020, remind us of how important other people are to our success and happiness in life. Check in regularly with your work team, your customers and colleagues, your professional network, your friends, and your family most of all. We are all connected and we need each other. At this moment, it feels like all of humanity is engaged in an “all hands on deck” struggle, but that spirit of solidarity can also be healthy! I believe that humanity has the potential to demonstrate our unity; we will get through this crisis together and ultimately, succeed in 2021 and beyond.

2. Culture and Diversity as a Driving Economic Force in 2021

The goal in 2021 should be to build a modern and diverse workforces geared at not only upping productivity, creativity, and kindness but one that is built for performance because it reflects an inclusive environment that represent the make-up of America. You cannot produce a great work product if there is not diversity of experience, culture, race, gender and age. This means creating a work environment people love, one that is fair, without bias, and mindful while utilizing technology and trust to guide how we work and where we work. I believe a mindful and inclusive approach to leadership inspires accountable leadership across the organization and entrepreneurial drive in others. What matters now and into 2021 is having the ability to be calm and weather storms with grace, doing so with kindness, empowering the right people no matter where they sit or who they are to do the work. And, ultimately, be brave enough to make the right decisions even in the face of adversity.

3. In a year filled with loss and despair, in 2021 we must protect our mental health.

I try to practice meditation each day, and having some sort of mindfulness practice is especially important for times like these. There are great meditation and mindfulness apps where you can get started for free. Calm has a free version that features LeBron James and it’s amazing! Whatever your personal mindfulness practice might be, whether it’s yoga or meditation or a spiritual ritual or prayer, you should do whatever you can to help calm your mind and stay in a positive mental state.

4. Stay physically active.

Go outdoors safely: Go for a walk in the park or hike on a trail (California gov has listed which ones are safe to do so). Do some jumping jacks outside or a few minutes of intense cardio like jump roping.

Download the free apps: Peloton’s app is free for 90-days. They offer yoga, bootcamps, strength training and running. A few more of my favorites that are free right now: Nike Training Club, Daily Burn, CorePower Yoga and Les Mills (including options for kids).

Staying physical, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, can help reduce stress.

Obviously, this is a moment of continued significant challenges as we approach 2021. But along with the scary headlines and sad stories of this crisis, I expect that we will start to see more good news to come.

What are your plans for 2021?

An inventor and leading voice on #entertainment and #innovation. COO, Invention Investment Funds @Intellectual Ventures