Herein lies the challenge – how do you describe the most politically charged year that most of us have lived through, without talking about it? Without acknowledging that black lives matter, but so do brown lives, red lives and every other color of the rainbow? Without debating COVID-19 and trying to value the devastating economic impacts vs. the loss of life for our loved ones?

Personally, I’m a glass half full kind of person – always looking at the path forward and how to improve outcomes for the people within my sphere of influence. With that in mind, I’d like to focus on some key lessons from 2020:

  • Gratitude – There has never been a time that I have been so thankful that I’m healthy, I’m safe, that I have a roof over my head, food on the table and love from family and friends. There are so many out there that don’t have these luxuries.
  • Resilience – I’ve seen so many people work through really tough circumstances, yet they keep showing up. Businesses that had to pivot really fast to stay afloat, friends coping with terminal illness in their families, people missing loved ones, hardships at home and at work.
  • #WFH – For all of those skeptics out there, you really can have employees working remotely, who are engaged, productive and get the job done. I’ve done it for a few years now with my teams, as they have been disbursed all over the West Coast, but 2020 is just proof that you don’t need to be in the office every day to stay connected and do great work.
  • Pets and Children should always be welcome in meetings. These are the sounds of life, and I’ve enjoyed getting to see and hear them this past year!
  • Commuting – While connecting in person will always be important, it’s been nice not having to commute in traffic every day. Not having to jump on a plane for a meeting, and then race home to tuck in my sleeping child.

With these in mind, please join us at our next RMA meeting (or take a RMA class), virtually. No more bridges to cross, ferries to catch, JBLM backups to navigate. No more missed dinners with your family or dealing with downtown parking. I guarantee that you’ll learn something or meet someone new in a virtual breakout room. What do you have to lose?

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe new year!

– Andy Leikin