Well, what a year 2020 has been! As I look back on our business’ journey this year, I’m grateful for many things, including all of the “firsts” I learned this year.

First time I had to operate in a pandemic. Between shelter-in-place orders to economic ambiguities, along with Covid-19 preventive measures and recognizing the inequalities of the impact of Covid-19 on our communities – it truly has been a year of transitions, stress, growth, and learnings. In hindsight, I think this year has made me a better businessperson, which is something I’ve also seen with many of our clients. It is through the struggle that we gained strength and innovation.

First time I had to navigate a business through the social justice challenges and unrest that has been building up with our communities and organizations. It has been path of learning, understanding, and empathy while determining how we, as business leaders, can help create more inclusive and diverse cultures and communities.

First time when the concept of ‘less is more’ was front and center. Having to navigate working remotely, streamlining our team, rethinking our services delivery, re-evaluating the need for travel for client engagements – the list could go on. We have been able to create more flexibility, agility, and outcomes by becoming a lean, mean fighting machine.

First time when relationships have been challenged by the lack of connectivity. We had to completely rethink how we build relationships and engagement with our families, employees, and clients. We had to focus on the core elements that develop solid relationships and let go of the excess activities or gestures that were just creating noise. Through this year, I learned to value relationships more than ever while innovatively continuing to build and cultivate them with limited personal interaction.

As 2020 comes to a close (none to soon in my mind), I am grateful for the challenging, emotional, stressed-filled, uplifting, adventurous, creative, and unique year 2020 has become. This is one year I am sure we will tell stories about for years. It’s a year of growth, increased knowledge, and finding new opportunities.

I am thankful for my team and my clients that allowed me to become a better leader. Have a safe, and joy-filled holiday season.

Cheers,

Michael Gunther

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