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I talk a LOT about the power of choice in the leadership series that I create and facilitate. You can read about the Magic Wand of Destiny here if you aren’t already familiar with the concept.

When discussing how to effectively wield the Magic Wand of Destiny, I draw pictures of a leaf, a boulder, and a sailboat. You can see above that my drawing talents are limited!

We can choose to be like a leaf that is blown about in the wind. We are in a constant state of reaction to the events around us. I visualize leaf people as running about saying, “Oh no! The wind is blowing me this way. Oh no! The wind is blowing me that way.” You could characterize this as a victim mentality.

We can choose to be like a boulder on a mountain that is not moved by any of the circumstances around it. I visualize boulder people as refusing to adapt or change to any circumstance or situation. They are going to sit in the same place, thinking the same thoughts, and doing the same things no matter how much change swirls around them.

Lastly, we can choose to be a sailboat that uses the wind and water to get where it wants to go. Sailboat people adapt and change along with changing circumstances. They are aware of what’s going on and use it to their advantage.

I grew up on sailboats, but let me give some context for those with less nautical knowledge. A few years ago, I went to Mexico with a friend. We hired a guide to take us on a sailboat out to a reef to do some snorkeling.

On the way out, the wind was behind us, and we sailed quickly to the reef in a pretty straight line. In case you are wondering, it was amazing! We saw so many interesting and beautiful sea creatures.

The trip back was not as quick or easy. The wind was blowing straight at us if we faced our destination. The only way back was to zig-zag. In sailing lingo that’s called tacking.

First, you go to the right of where you want to go. Then you tack and head to the left of where you want to go. Actually, it was exhilarating. We clambered from one side of the boat to the other at each turn, ducking to miss the boom, and the sail moved from one side of the boat to the other.

We used this maneuver to get a little past our destination and then headed in to the dock with the magnificent tail wind.

2020 has given us a lot of changing wind to deal with. Mostly, I’ve been a sailboat person, with brief periods of leaf flailing. My biggest change was moving my workshops from in-person to virtual. The beginning was fast and bumpy, but I have to say that I’m very pleased with how things are going now.

I’ve adapted many of the engaging exercises that I did in person. I send out welcome boxes with all the things we need to interact, have fun, and learn. I didn’t think I’d like it all that much, but I really do!

Now 2020 is coming to a close. I feel myself letting out a sigh of relief. Despite its challenges, 2020 has been a good year for me personally.

I had two grandchildren born in 2020, both now healthy and strong. My business stalled, pivoted, and thrived. The family and friends who have had COVID-19 have all gotten through it.

I realize that not everyone is so lucky, and my relief is tinged with sadness for those who have suffered terrible loss and insurmountable challenges in 2020.

And now we face 2021. I saw a funny meme on Facebook that warned against getting too hopeful about the new year because 2021 could just turn out to be 2020 old enough to drink. Ha! That one made me snort-laugh – and it could be true. This wild ride could just get wilder.

And that’s okay if we are sailboat people! As long as we pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and use it to get where we want to go, we will be fine.

I will be focusing more on my online presence in 2021. Putting more time and energy on one thing means letting go of others. One of the things that I am letting go of is writing this weekly blog.

I have enjoyed writing about the leadership topics I discuss and teach in workshops. It’s helped me to clarify my thinking and given me quite an encyclopedia of leadership topics.

The blog has not significantly widened my reach or helped me increase my influence and income. Since my goal for 2021 is to help more people and make more money, the weekly blog is going away.

I will still write here when I am struck with an idea. If you are interested in hearing about it, please subscribe to the blog on my website. The blog will live on for a while.

I will be writing a monthly blog of a completely different style at some point in 2021. It will still have great info, but it will be tied more directly to my online products.

Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through the last three years. Your comments and encouragement have helped me keep going – and will help me fill my sails in 2021.

For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.

Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.

If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.