3 Lessons from 2020 We Will Carry Forward

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By Kimm Lytle

If you are reading this, it means you’ve survived 2020. This alone is worth celebrating.

Here at CTE, we have been reflecting on this crazy year, what it’s meant for our small but mighty business and the challenges we’ve overcome. It’s hard to believe that, despite the uncertainty, we’ve been able to move into our new warehouse building, land a spot again on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private businesses and welcome more team members to our CTE family. 

As difficult as this year proved to me, we know if we can get through 2020, we can get through anything. Moving forward, we look at the lessons we learned not only in gratitude but ask how we can carry what we learned into the new year. Here are the themes:

1. Above all, culture matters the most.Culture has always been important at CTE, but this year, we doubled down on our people. We found new and creative ways to connect with each other. We encouraged our team to use our brand’s beliefs in conversations, displayed our values on the wall and found ways to use them to better serve our clients. Being an essential business and having to continue to work in the building, we implemented Friday lunches from a local restaurant to support our community. We found ways to laugh together, support each other as humans and get through the most difficult year in recent memory. We will continue to prioritize our culture and our people in the coming years. 

2. Planning should be done, but it’s more important to be resilient. We look back at our 2020 plans and we chuckle – because this year shaped up to be vastly different. It turns out being flexible and resilient were much more important. But just because our plans couldn’t have predicted what would happen in 2020, we still see the value of looking at the year ahead to set goals, find ways to stay aligned and make sure we are continuing to build a business that is good for our people, our clients, our partners and our community. 

3. Celebrate all of the wins. Sometimes, just getting through a tumultuous week was cause for celebration. Our team remained focused on what was in our control as opposed to the factors that were out of our control. Through it all, I’m proud to say our team took time to celebrate what we were doing right, how things were going well and small accomplishments throughout the year. 

As we move into a new year, with a renewed sense of optimism, I hope you have a chance to look at what lessons you’ll carry forward it into the new year. We wish you all a happy and healthy 2021!