This time of year is naturally one of reflection.

I can’t help but think of how this has been yet another turbulent leadership ride for a lot of people and organizations, dealing with the turmoil of the COVID pandemic and all that it brings.

It is important for leaders to be mindful of their responsibilities to those they lead and to themselves. And first among those responsibilities is self-care – to be an effective leader, you must have the energy and vision to engage those who depend on you.

If you’re exhausted, distracted or preoccupied, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice but others around you as well – your colleagues, your family and friends.

In reflecting on the year, I think of our clients who have achieved so much despite everything that was thrown their way. 

One in particular that I’d like to spotlight here is Lily Lynch and her crew at Sankara | Online Multicultural Marketplace who, for me, represent hope amid the challenges of a turbulent year.

Lily, one of the co-founders of Sankara, was recently honoured to be chosen among nearly 1,000 female business owners across Canada to receive one of 18 BMO Celebrating Women Grant awards. The award celebrates her contributions to social, environmental and/or economic sustainability outcomes through business policies, practices or products. 

I recently had the honour to meet and interview Patrick Gordon, a former combat soldier who overcame horrendous injuries and battled addictions to emerge as the force to combat childhood hunger in his hometown.

His is a remarkable personal story. But beyond that, he’s a leader of determination and drive. Having overcome the demons of war, alcohol and drugs, he was drawn into the war on poverty by a friend who was a teacher at a local school. The friend shared a startling story of how common it was for the students to be hungry – and how it was getting worse with the pandemic.

With other committed individuals, Patrick launched Operation Feed Saint John to bring food to schools and families in need.

To learn more about his journey and his mission to eradicate hunger, listen to or watch The Boiling Point podcast that I hosted with special guest host David Savoie and read the online story from CBC New Brunswick.
Forbes has What Is Purposeful Leadership And Why It Matters. It shares insight on the benefits leaders can enjoy if they can define, and live, their purpose.
Harvard Business Review features How to Convince Yourself to Do Hard Things by David Rock, author of Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work.
Fast Company features an interesting piece on unleashing the power of introverted leaders, penned by an executive who started a in-house development program for them.