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January Optimism

Well, that was the festive season 2020. It was unlike any other I can recall and I have to confess I am not sad to move on albeit into a year with as many if not more challenges immediately ahead. So, today on my first day ‘back at work’ in my isolated office, I am looking for some positives…. from somewhere…. anywhere. One thing that has sustained me greatly through the period since March of last year has been walking around my local area every day: sometimes a quick half hour sprint around the neighbourhood, other times a longer more rural adventure as I am lucky enough to have countryside all around and easily accessible by foot.

This morning I walked around my local country park. A few days ago, it was covered with water as a result of heavy rainfall over many days. But today the waters were receding, the sheep were back and the sky was breaking into small patches of blue. However bleak this place had been it was recovering and refreshing itself, looking slightly battered but reassuringly familiar.  Maybe that is as much as we can expect for ourselves over the next few months, a slower recovery perhaps than my park, but the prospect of a refreshed world that might just feel ok.

On returning home to a coffee and a scan of the morning news, I found an article by Jay Rayner (https://bit.ly/391jQUX) in which he looks forward optimistically to the future of the restaurant sector. We are all so familiar with the devastation that this sector has faced and is still enduring but Jay shares some really important reassuring comments that I think have relevance for all of us in business. He quotes a source who summed up his view of 2021 in the following way: “The first three months will be as bad as 2020. In the second three months, the cavalry are coming. The last six months are likely to be the best we’ve ever had.”  Jay believes there is a ‘pent-up appetite for fun’, certainly amongst those businesses that have managed to survive through the pandemic so far and ‘despite it all, there remains a willingness to try. That’s a cause for optimism’.

Gill and I set up Level Seven in 2008. Yes, during a recession…we were told it might not be such a good idea but we rode it out and in 2021 will celebrate 13 years in business. What has kept us going? Well, we have been eternally optimistic! We have had to be flexible and adapt to the needs of our market and our clients. We have had to be resilient and able to draw on sources of inspiration and strength. Most of all, and this picks up on one of Jay Rayner’s comments, we have had fun along the way. Looking into 2021, and with this in mind, we have created our own new Level Seven coaching model based on design thinking and focusing on the power of energy generation, creativity and excitement. We will share this in our next blog.