For the last Perspective column of 2020, my thoughts wandered to the meaning of the word itself. A definition of perspective, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.” It is going to be a while before we can get a fuller understanding of just how important a role this year’s disruption will play in each of our big pictures. But one immediate perspective I take on 2020 is just how much the personal and professional have become intertwined. And, for the most part, I think that’s a good thing.
With many of us spending much of the year unexpectedly home with pets, roommates, kids, significant others or even just the regular visit of the delivery guy, we’ve developed a more personal perspective on each other’s professional lives. I have enjoyed getting a glimpse into your households, as we at MDM now conduct many article interviews over video connections — even if it means starting a portion of a podcast recording over when your dog needs to bark at the doorbell. He’s just keeping you safe!
I find in general that taking a long-term perspective on challenging times in life yields more positive memories than negative ones. It brings us life lessons that we can apply to make our future brighter. For example, it’s true that I spent each of my children’s newborn-hood in a fog of exhaustion, but when I think back, I mostly remember the tiny toes and the moments where I knew I was becoming a more confident parent.
2020 has brought its own exhaustions, but I believe we all will be able to look back on this year and pinpoint the moments of professional growth that it brought to us as well.
Look no further than the pages of MDM Premium throughout 2020. Sales teams who turned an inability to prospect into an opportunity to dive into data and produce more revenue from existing clients. Or executive leadership who were able to accelerate years’ worth of ideas over a few months because they took the time to meet for weekly online brainstorming sessions that never would have happened in person.
Adding Value in 2021
In case you missed it, we closed out our final MDM Live webcast this year with several of our Future Leader award winners sharing their perspective on what older generations in the workforce can do to continue adding more value to the workplace. The highlights are worth sharing here for something to think about as we head into 2021:
- “Emotional intelligence; just the ability to listen to each side and hear all perspectives,” said Dane Anderson, Forney Industries.
- “Project managers are in short supply. We need tenured people who understand back-office dependencies, how the systems work. Own it and you will have value across the company,” said Christina Nielsen, Lawson Products.
- “Document, document, document. Sales reps in [distribution] 15, 20 years, when you see all the information they have in their mind and their level of subject-matter expertise, show them how they can turn that into lead generation by sharing content on LinkedIn,” said Mike Powers, Alaska Rubber Group.
It’s impossible to have perspective on something before it happens, but it is my hope we will look back on 2021 a year from now and see all the ways in which 2020 prepared us for the year’s successes. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!