Thinking about an anniversary we didn’t expect to celebrate.

On Saturday, January 30, I was catching up on some work and thinking about how much I miss the proximity of my team. We haven’t been together in about a year. Of course, we talk and email constantly. We text a lot. We use video conferencing. But it’s hard, isn’t it? We’ve had to adjust how we inspire and lead our organization in dire times. We’ve had to think through and execute better ways to support our customers without physically jumping in. We’ve had to adjust a proven methodology (Opportunity, Formulate, Build, Debrief) that had gained real traction in how we design our approach to work, leadership, everything we do. We’ve missed out on scheduled sessions to debrief our assignments, planned celebrations to recognize our wins, and the simple joy of spontaneous interactions that mean so much.  We have missed each other more than I can say.

As I mentally walked back the year, I found myself thinking of all the specific things that transpired and how, with each small effort, each difficult action, each strategic initiative, we accomplished something real and built momentum toward new objectives. And that’s when it struck me that it was exactly one year to the day — the morning of January 30, 2020 — that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It was a goosebumps moment. Not just because of the coincidence, but because of what we’ve managed to achieve in that year. Everyone in the company, pulling together. Whether we realized it or not, we have been designing our future each weary step of the way. 

I am thinking specifically about Freeman. And yet, I know this extends to so many others in our industry and in the global business community at large. Even in some desperate moments and dark days, we were working against a plan that supported a brighter vision. It was never about building a comeback. It was always about moving forward. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the past year. 

We are moving into the future. With a vengeance. 

Now that I’ve shared, I really want to hear from you. Join me for a Freeman Instagram Live this Friday, February 12 at 11am CT as I reflect on the last year, about what we’ve learned. I’d love to hear about YOUR vision for the future, and what you’re most proud of this year.

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