January 1, 2021
A semi-coherent collection of news, data, thoughts and opinions for your enjoyment, sharing or immediate deletion. Hopefully you find a few valuable nuggets inside that are worth your while...
2020 sucked.

Pardon my crass language there, but come on, it really did.

Professionally, personally, socially, spiritually, physically, mentally...2020 was in many ways the most difficult year I have ever experienced.

Whether you were hit directly or tangentially, it seems that just about everyone except Jeff Bezos took it on the chin in some way last year.

The images above were part of our New Year's Eve celebration & television broadcast on 12/31/2019...they capped off a fantastic year of growth and pointed to a bright forecast for 2020.

Boy was that forecast wrong.

By late January, news of a potentially deadly virus began spreading out of Wuhan.

By February, travel restrictions began and the potential scope of the crisis just started to emerge.

Fittingly, Friday the 13th of March ushered in the beginning of our "new normal" with the last day of traditional school for the kids. Let the Zooming commence.

April still held the hopeful spirit of Springtime, with virtual cocktail parties, family game nights, and a collective spirit of "we can all get through this" prevailing.

May brought home the reality that this was more than a passing phase; we had "flattened the curve" but a return to normal was not imminent...and with this realization, the first cracks to our unified front appeared as businesses and individuals started to feel the threat in so many ways. The eruption of protests and rioting further demonstrated how fragile things really were.

June reminded us that politics is actually the world's oldest profession, and that the answer is more likely to be found in the middle than along the fringes...Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine became household words...vacations were lost, backyards became sanctuaries, and we started wondering if this would ever end.

July brought hope and then renewed concern, with the decreasing rate of COVID-19 deaths bottoming out and then beginning to climb again...behold the "second wave."

August saw students returning to school, but not to classrooms...bandwidth & backgrounds replaced backpacks & hydroflasks as back-to-school priorities; meanwhile, the WFH crew dodged spouses, roommates, kids, and their pets for an undisturbed spot to conduct a Zoom call...success was illusive.

September marked one million deaths attributed to the pandemic globally and punishing news for an already-struggling restaurant industry as indoor dining was designated a key contributor to virus-spread.

October started with the President being hospitalized after he and 33 others contracted COVID-19 at the Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett...it ended with record early voting and mail-in ballots...and also with cancelled or restricted trick-or-treating for the kids.

November welcomed the news that trials were showing 90-95% efficacy for multiple vaccines and approvals for immediate rollout...just as the U.S. passed the ominous milestone of 100,000 new cases in a single day...the "surge" was underway.

December saw vaccines roll out and a plan for 80% of Americans to be vaccinated by June of 2021...a milestone critical to reach herd immunity; Unfortunately, the demonstrated rate of rollout sets the pace at almost ten years to hit that 80% goal; meaning we won't reach herd immunity until 2030 at the current rate.

Like I said: 2020 sucked!

It's time to move on, so let's do so on a positive note...

Here's to new beginnings, fresh perspectives, and renewed hope!

I wish you and yours all the very best for a happy, healthy, prosperous and joy-filled new year!

A Special Message from Mark Shulman
If you're looking for positivity in 2021, look no further than our favorite rock star, Mark Shulman.

Mark has toured as a professional drummer and performed for more than a billion people in his career with some of the biggest names in music, including Foreigner, Billy Idol, Pink and many more.

He is also a kick-ass motivational speaker and is available for live and virtual event as one of our Talent & Enhancement options.

In this short clip, Mark talks about his experience auditioning to become Cher's drummer, and the important role that attitude plays in driving positive outcomes.

As we begin 2021, it is valuable advice shared in Mark's awesome and entertaining storytelling style.
A Future Worth Building

I have had the great fortune to meet and work with some truly gifted individuals over the years, and Denis Doolan is no exception.

Denis leads Organizational Excellence for Special Olympics International and his passion for inclusion and sustainable Buisness leadership is unmatched.

At the dawn of the New Year, Denis shares this article about inclusive and sustainable leadership, and the importance of leading from a people-first perspective. Please give it a look.
Ringing in the New, Sustainably

The month of January takes its name from Janus, the Roman God of beginnings and endings. As transitions go, January 2021 must surely rank as one of the biggest we have ever faced.

Read more
What a Difference a Year Makes

Here are the top New year's Resolutions from U.S. adults for 2020 and 2021. Interesting to see how priorities have shifted in response to a crazy and unexpected year...
New Year, New Me
This concept is my way of sharing information and staying connected with my personal and professional network in these crazy times. Content is chosen based on what I think is interesting, entertaining and relevant. Occasionally, I may also include some blatantly promotional content that showcases the awesome work of my team and/or clients.

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Have a great day!