2020 refined disruption. From the economic optimism of January, to the bottom of the COVID lockdown and all the way through to the hope of a better, healthier 2021, CEOs were challenged in ways they could not have anticipated. The Vistage Research Center was a prime source for trusted insight and information for CEOs of small and midsize businesses to help make sense of the chaos, better understand the obstacles, lead their companies through challenging times, and position themselves for a strong recovery and the next growth cycle on the other side of the pandemic.
Identifying the top blogs from 2020 was difficult as there were outstanding posts that spanned all the issues and challenges that evolved over the course of the year. Here are the top seven blogs as selected by the editorial team from the Research Center.
1. Business Trends
Vistage member, speaker and Research Center contributor Marc Emmer once again leads the way with his annual series on trends. A consistent top contributor, Marc’s “Trends facing business in 2021” from December is already a top choice. Marc dissects and analyzes the key trends for the economy, technology, society and ecology. These posts are must-reads as they set the tone for decision making and strategic planning into 2021.
2. Strategies for Dealing with Stress
Vistage “Speaker of the Year” in 2019 Bill Crawford had multiple pieces on the Research Center in 2020. In April, he posted a blog on how to deal with stress. It could not have been timelier as we were all just beginning to feel the type of stress that only 2020 could generate. Bill shared five steps to reduce stress and access your more purposeful brain. This post was also supported by a video from Bill.
3. Dealing with Difficult People
Bill followed that post with his blog and video on “Dealing with Difficult People” in May. This post equipped CEOs with a better way to handle the challenging people in their organization. These skills became amplified as the trials of managing a newly remote workforce and the strains placed on everyone by the pandemic.
4. 5 Crisis Priorities
Well in front of the COVID Crisis, Vistage speaker Corrine Handcock captured the key priorities for CEOs to focus on in a crisis. As we entered the COVID Crisis, this insight became paramount for CEOs to appreciate. Already researching and speaking on managing in a crisis, Corrine quickly pivoted to bring her expertise to what was already developing. Published in early March, this was one of the first blogs to capture the on-rushing crisis and prepare CEOs for chaos they were about to face.
5. Managing Remote Employees
In what would become a key challenge for many CEOs, Anne Petrik from Vistage Research captured the key components of managing remote employees in March. As businesses were forced to quickly disperse their people, Anne captured six of the top tactics for managing remote employees based on the learnings of already dispersed teams. Timely for all CEOs experiencing remote work for the first time, these tactics proved to be spot-on as we learned how to work with a virtual, digital workforce.
6. Returning to Work
Staying in the same lane, Anne worked with Vistage speaker Joel Greenwald, an employment attorney, to provide a safety checklist for bringing employees back to work. This post from May was both timely and important as we were starting to think about life after the lockdown. Supported by Vistage Research data, Greenwald’s checklist of safety protocols, policies and practices was the foundation for many CEOs’ return-to-work plans.
7. Building a Killer Business Strategy
We close our list where we started, with another great contribution from Marc Emmer, this focusing on what it takes to build a killer business strategy. Marc’s core expertise is in helping CEOs build their business strategy. This piece identifies the 10 steps for building a business strategy based on Marc’s years of experience in working with small and midsize business CEOs.
The Vistage Research Center is focused exclusively on the issues, topics and decisions of small and midsized business CEOs. Our Research Center creates and curates content from the Vistage community including Vistage Research, Vistage speakers, Chairs (executive coaches) and members. The content is organized around the Vistage Decision Model categories and topics developed with the Vistage Chair community. Bookmark the Research Center as a trusted and respected source of information for the challenges and opportunities on your leadership climb in 2021.