2020 has been one of the most challenging years for a lot of people, most certainly for me! I was talking to a colleague recently and they said: Just when we thought we saw the light at the end of tunnel, we now realise that it wasn’t a light at all… it was just a warning light for things worse to come”.
For many Project Managers, 2020 has been a massive learning experience and a dramatic curve of progression, management and how to work virtually. For all of us, managing our stress levels whilst working through a pandemic and protecting our mental health has taken on a new level of importance. During this summary of 2020, I wanted to try and look at the positives that I have been a part of and what i’m looking forward to, in the next year.
Presenting: This year has been a year that I’ve managed to push myself and the boundaries that exist. Due to the rise of virtual working and conferences, I’ve been given the opportunity the present globally this year and have shared knowledge with thousands of people (and substantially more than I initially thought possible). I have presented at several PMI chapters, technical user groups and internal user groups, have written for several different websites and organisations and volunteered more than 400 hours to support others on their journey of becoming stronger leaders and better Project Managers.
Innovation: When life throws you lemons…. you make lemonade. Some conference organisers really took this to the max this year! A special mention to CIDM who organised a fab virtual conference called: ConVex which brought knowledge, humour and great socialising to a global audience! Another special mention goes to PMSummit who really stepped up and showed how you can bring live presenting to an online community and have it be really successful and interactive. This year has also seen some fantastic innovation in not only how we can collaborate with our teams but also how we can work more effectively, individually. I have really been inspired by those Project Managers who stepped up, and out of their boundaries to really think about a better way to work.
Come together: From March to June this year, I was involved in several regular Zoom calls with friends, family and peers. It was such a wonderful way to stay connected, share the stresses that we were going through and spread our love when we could not do it in person.
I think 2021 will not be an easy year but I think that there is a lot of potential for us as individuals to excel, invest in ourselves to bring a longer lasting benefit to our skillset and personal toolbox. I’ve encouraged all of my team to not only think about what they can learn from a knowledge perspective but also soft skills and not forgetting their own work/life balance.
As we move into the next year, I wonder when the light at the end of the tunnel will fully appear. I know that as a Leader, Project Manager, mentor and guide, I will be there to support my teams and continue to invest in my team to deliver the projects that we are all so passionate about delivering.
I challenge you to look at where you can add your value in 2021. Will you be innovating? Will you be supporting teams or family members or will you just focus on the mammoth task of protecting your mental health? Let’s work together, share knowledge and make 2021, the best that it can be.
Happy New Year to you all.