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    GGBA Message from Leadership: Lessons from 2020 & Hope for 2021

    By Michael Gunther–

    Well, what a year 2020 was! As I look back on our organization’s journey over last year, I’m grateful for many things, including all of the “firsts” we learned.

    It was the first time we 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 was a year of transitions, stress, growth, and lessons. In hindsight, I think 2020 made us better businesspeople; this is something I have also seen with many of our clients and our members. It is through the struggle that we gained strength and innovation.

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

    It was the first time the concept of “less is more” was front and center. We had to navigate meeting remotely, streamlining our networking events, rethinking our services delivery, re-evaluating the needs of our members … that list could go on. We have been able to create more flexibility, agility, and outcomes by becoming a lean, mean fighting machine.

    It was the first time relationships were challenged by the lack of connectivity. We had to completely rethink how we build relationships and engagement with our families, members, 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 last year, I learned to value relationships more than ever while innovatively continuing to build and cultivate them with limited personal interaction.

    Now, in the first month of 2021, I am grateful for the challenging, emotional, stressed-filled, uplifting, adventurous, creative, and unique year 2020 was. It was a year I am sure we will tell stories about for years. It was a year of growth, increased knowledge, and finding new opportunities.

    I am thankful for our members, sponsors, and board who allowed us to become a better organization and stronger leaders. We look forward to supporting you in this new year.

    Michael Gunther is the President of GGBA. He is also the founder of Collaboration Business Consulting:

    Published on January 14, 2021