Lessons learned: Leaders need to assess their diversity initiatives to see how effective they are. Do they do enough to really change attitudes and behaviors?
When Prince George Alexander Louis, son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was born, the world watched. Some reports indicated that Catherine's pregnancy injected approximately $347 million into a sluggish economy. Kate and William showed they wanted to be highly involved in raising their own child, despite the fact that they could have so much assistance provided. They also continue to reach out to the public to better connect with them.
Lessons learned: People want to rally around something positive and hopeful for the future. To be effective leaders, managers need to make sure that they reach out and connect with employees.
The federal government shutdown illustrated many negotiation tactics — including hardball tactics by both sides. It also showed the importance of remembering your constituents (since many would say that the political leaders seemed to have forgotten). The shutdown also revealed that for collaboration to occur, individuals have to be truthful about their underlying interests.
Lessons learned: In negotiations, remember who all your constituents are and be working for them. Work toward collaboration (not simple compromise) if you have time and the issues are critical.
This past year, we also dealt with somber events such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the shooting rampage in the Navy Yard in Washington, and additional shootings in schools and other formerly "safe" places. We publicly grieved about the losses of innocent lives and we revisited the issues of gun control and terrorist activities. We were also inspired by images and stories of regular people and first responders engaging in heroic acts to help each other. These stories remind us that good citizenship is alive and well, especially in the toughest of times. Natural disasters such as the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the typhoon in the Philippines also reveal how valuable life is, and what we can do to help others and positively impact their lives.