FRONT OF THE ROOM – Brian Lange
A Tip of My Cap
“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” – Kahlil Gibran
No one is really going to understand what you went through in 2020 as a learning and development professional. Not your mother. Not your neighbor, partner or kids. Not your college friends, siblings, the person who (used to?) cut your hair or likely even your director/boss.
You looked perplexity in the face … and you triumphed. You adapted. You retrenched.
You challenged previous assumptions. You reached out for counsel, tips and help. You accepted that you didn’t feel 100% ready and prepared. You persevered and refused to give up. You cheated mediocrity and inertia … and you maintained focus on the objective: helping your people, and the business, move forward.
I’m fortunate to know many, many people serving in learning roles in our industry and have shared innumerable communications with them over the past several months. I remain struck by the levels of innovation, experimentation and the overall can-do attitude with which people approached the task of completely redeploying usual delivery methods, schedules and division of responsibilities.
Not only have you found alternative ways to onboard new team members, but you’ve launched new products, provided development on virtual selling and supported your field sales leadership in their efforts to lead in a virtual world. C’mon! That is massive change in a “we need it yesterday” environment!
Yet you didn’t flinch. You didn’t run. You didn’t point fingers or duck accountability. You … made … it … happen. You stepped up. You delivered.
“It is not sufficient to simply have an experience in order to learn. Without reflecting on this experience, it may quickly be forgotten or its learning potential lost.” Karl Kapp, EdD.
So, as we continue to evolve to meet business realities — the preceding quote should give us pause. It is time to reflect. Time to cement learnings. Time to ensure we wring out the greatest amount of value/insight/lessons we can. Time to develop those bullet points for our resumes about what we really achieved through this year. Time to acknowledge we have new skill sets and tools for adapting to change.
I hope you can take a moment for yourself to let all that you have experienced at work this year soak in. Go ahead — allow yourself to feel the satisfaction of your accomplishments. Bask in the glow of achievement and growth. Pat yourself on the back. It’s OK if others are watching — you’ve earned it.
I could not be more proud of how everyone has stepped up during this unique and unexpected time of our modern work history. Colleagues, I tip my cap to each of you: Keep up the momentum, discovery and impact. Ultimately, patients are counting on us.