Priorities. We all have them; I would suspect that in 2020 without much planning your priorities changed. A line that speaks to the unconscious way we organize priorities is from author Robert Proctor. I paraphrase a bit, but the intent is the same:
“If you want to know what is important to a person who fancies themselves success-driven, look at their calendar and their checkbook.”
At the height of the 2020 Great Pause (my euphonism for an epic global screwup), I was invited to be a guest on Sarah Brown’s podcast, The KTS Success Factor. I enjoy being a podcast guest as much as I enjoy co-hosting the Hey, Boss Lady! podcast. I get to learn every time I am asked to think about my work and my thinking. Sarah asked a question I really liked, “What is the question I wished she had asked me?” Typical of my consultant training, I answered the question with a question:
“What if I believed this moment in time was the greatest opportunity of a lifetime?”
What I have seen from the beginning is a shift in priorities at the individual level and at the institutional level across the board – corporate, government, and not-for-profit. I have observed an increase in the 3 C’s:
Okay, okay it is far from perfect, and the longer this epic mess up continues, the greater the illusion that compassion, collaboration, and cooperation are fading. I boldly state the illusion is false. We have collectively broadened our outlook on how and where we can work, we have begun to value a segment of our employment population that we had traditionally undervalued, and the Grand Canyon-sized issues in our educational system are out in the open for the world to see.
I recently took a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to see the Northern Lights. The hurdles and hassles appeared endless, but my friend Karen Robilotta and I succeed. On a -20 degrees below zero walk the first morning, I came across a war memorial highlighting the joint cooperation between the US and Russia during WWII. I was taken by the inscription which reads:
The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation; it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.
Waiting too long to seek cooperation and support to adjust our priorities is a challenge for all of us – business leaders, government leaders, and the rest of us who are just as essential. My suggestion; stop waiting. Reflect, write, and ignite your shifted priorities.
Listen to the short podcast and then play with the question yourself:
“Upon reflection, what if I believed this moment in time was the greatest opportunity of a lifetime?”
A don’t know about you, but I am amazed we have concluded the first month of 2021. Moment-by-moment, I am reminded this moment is all we know we have for sure. I suggest we use it wisely. That is my top priority.