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5 things business owners learned about leadership in 2020

For better or worse (or both), 2020 has been an eye-opening time for business owners. As we close out a year that’s disrupted our lives and livelihoods in so many unexpected ways, we’d like to share some light. Yes, business leaders have faced complex challenges, but with those have come some remarkable lessons. Our coaches hear them from their clients every day: stories of pivoting, adapting and becoming a different kind of leader. So we reached out to some of our EMyth Clients and asked: What's your biggest takeaway lesson of the year about business ownership and leadership? Here’s what they said.

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Be honest

"Tell your employees the truth. When the economy or market changes, come up with a plan and keep your employees informed of what you're doing. If you don't know if it’s going to be okay, be honest and tell them that, and share your plan for what you’re going to do when things happen. If you aren't telling them, they’ll come up with their own story or version, and that can be detrimental."

-Roy Ens, Quadrus Construction Inc, Alymer, ON, Canada

Be flexible—and prepared to pivot

"Being flexible and knowing your strengths is key for continued growth in uncertain times. Everything is an opportunity if you know how to view it from the wider picture. This year has taught us to be free to change and adjust our practices so we can better operate our business."

- Oscar, JawsTec LLC, American Falls, ID

Be open to new ways of thinking and doing

"Before this year, we’d have never considered remote work. But we’ve realized that with the right control systems, remote work can be an excellent way to find great talent and scale your team."

- Anonymous EMyth Client

Make time to unplug 

"Taking breaks and disengaging for a few days is a necessity in challenging times. I didn’t do this. In fact, we canceled our vacations. Overwhelm crept in and slowly crushed my energy and positivity. I finally took a break, which instantly rejuvenated me. In hindsight, I would’ve done this much sooner. We all feel that we must work longer and harder during trying times, but 2020 taught me to take time to disengage and recharge—so that when I’m at work, I can stay energized and present, and be a positive Influence."

-Max Rose, Four Seasons Plumbing, Asheville, NC

Be prepared for a windfall and a boom

"The question, ‘If your business tripled, could you handle it?’ resonates with me—as we aren’t handling it. My firm, an architectural drafting and structural engineering operation, has been busier than ever since March 2020 … We’re doing a lot of addition and remodel plans as opposed to full homes. However, our jobs are taking longer than they should. We have relatively new staff, and I spend 75% of my time reviewing jobs for completeness, and not enough time on the business. I was also diagnosed with COVID-19 on October 31, so I was down with fevers and exhaustion for three weeks. But I still had to work to keep things going. In short ... I need EMyth's principles and systems in my business."

- Mark Benjamin, PHI-D&E Inc. dba Crown Jade Design and Engineering, Fort Collins, CO

What leadership lessons have you taken from 2020? Share in the comments below.


Kirstin Fulton

Written by Kirstin Fulton

Kirstin Fulton is the Content Manager at EMyth, where she partners with every department to develop content that inspires and educates business owners on their entrepreneurial journey. Her experience lies in writing and producing digital and print media for various industries, developing corporate events, and building immersive curriculum for both academic and business environments. She’s passionate about serving the EMyth community—our clients, Coaches, and colleagues—through writing that brings clarity, guidance and enthusiasm to the everyday.