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Werth Insights

Turning the Page

The dawning of a new year always brings hope. Like crossing the equator, the changing of the calendar is more symbolic than substance. And yet, turning the page on the past can serve one valuable purpose: a willingness for introspection that does not come naturally but is essential for a fresh start.

All signs point to change in 2021, from new COVID-19 vaccines to a new presidential administration to an evolving workplace that is likely to continue well into the future. We can question or embrace pandemic policies, rejoice or fume about the elections, celebrate or bemoan the changing work environment. While it’s helpful to reflect on these external things and what they may mean for us, there’s not a lot we can do individually to change them.

However, there is much we can do to change ourselves. That’s always where larger change originates and it’s where every true fresh start begins. 

The Serenity Prayer is a familiar one, and it speaks simply and directly to how human beings can make a fresh start. I go back to it often, especially after a year like the one we’ve had:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer recognizes how often we spend our energy fighting windmills instead of focusing on the things we have direct control over. And there are few things we have more direct control over than how we show up every day. 

Turning inward is the first step I always need for a fresh start, and it’s why I’m such a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Making a fresh start is impossible without self-reflection and honesty about where improvements need to be made. Realistic resolutions, worked on through the year, make me a better person, leader and citizen. 

What kind of fresh start is your company looking for? We all confronted challenges in 2020 that we didn’t expect. We’ve probably learned something new about leadership and what it takes to manage in difficult times. We’ve learned about the perseverance of our colleagues and stretched our capabilities in new and innovative ways. We’ve probably all made some mistakes along the way, too. If ever self-examination were called for, now is the time as we close one chapter and begin the next. 

My New Year’s resolutions break down into three categories:

  • Accepting the things I cannot change.
  • Finding courage to change the things I can.
  • And striving to know the difference between the two.

All of us at Werth wish you a happy and prosperous new year. May 2021 be the fresh start you deserve. 

Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford
President and CEO