2020 Holiday Message

What a year it's been...

For me it’s been a year of learning and I’d like to share one lesson.In early March I set out on a mission to do something good for our environment and it became an analog for the work we all do as leaders. First the mission – strengthen our environment through creating pollinator habitats. I scoured books and the internet to educate myself on pollinators, wildflowers, soil preparation and seeds. My husband and I, chaperoned by our dogs, spent time in the early spring breaking ground, tilling the soil, excavating a long-forgotten corner of our property and laying walking paths. We embarked on an adventure to find pre-spring straw to keep the early shoots safe and warm, at a time when the local farmers wouldn’t touch our money for fear they’d contract COVID.Gardening was an escape. A contemplative practice borne of a need to do something positive and bring something beautiful into the world – at a time that felt bleak and out-of-control.By late spring I had wildflower patches, a certified wildlife habitat and a thriving ecosystem of insects, birds, frogs and a few tiny bunnies all under the watchful eyes of our curious canines. Together, my husband and I had spent hours and days together. Planning, digging, planting and dreaming. We surveyed our progress, shared the parts that were disappointing and imagined what we would do differently next season. It allowed us time to get grounded – quite literally.I let the patch get weedy during a particularly hot spell this summer and it took an entire week to get it back under control. Under the mid-day sun of a marathon weeding-day I realized how much growing a business, cultivating a team, building a strong and resilient culture; creating something positive, of great value and beautiful is like the wildflower patch.Blossoming takes hard work, consistent effort, careful planning. Fertile soil, a vision for what can be and the right amounts of sun and water. Making note of what worked well and should be repeated and what flopped and should be cast aside in the next season. Providing room to grow, careful weeding to keep invaders from choking out budding talent, being constantly vigilant yet allowing time and nature to do their best work – keeping faith that good will grow and you’ll see the fruits of your labor. Done well, your product is abundant and attractive, others spread your message, you’ve propagated a reputation as ‘the bees’ knees’ and your success tastes sweeter than honey.More than at any time in modern history, this past year has taught us the importance of people. Like bees, we are a species that thrives on community and connection. Caring is our new currency and contemplation, when time and space permit, is a classroom. During 2020 positive seeds have been sown – the SEC modernized Reg S-K calling for human capital disclosures, Nasdaq petitioned the SEC for greater board diversity, collaboration toward common ESG reporting frameworks is underway. Across the globe we have enhanced our focus on humanizing work environments – recognizing the importance of mental- and physical wellbeing, anti-racism, inclusion and equality.We have learned, fragility and value-creation are inextricably connected through a form which is uniquely human.With juice from grapes made possible only by the effort of our planet’s pollinators and the vision and hard work of people from the fields to our front doors; let’s make a toast to deepening our commitment to sow and grow the seeds of people, purpose and prosperity. From our families to yours, today and throughout the coming year.

Holiday Reading Suggestions

A Deal-Maker's Holiday Story...

Enter your email address below to access this PDF
Thank you! Download your PDF below:
View PDF
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Please check that your email address is properly formatted.

Other Noteworthy Ideas