Happy New Year 2021

By | January 1, 2021

[January 1, 2021]  Greetings!  So began the letter’s salutation from the U.S. Government draft board.  Still, in High School and 17 years old, the letter did not surprise me.  However, it was to put me on a journey that ended many decades later.  What I learned along the way was that trust is at the core of being a good soldier and a requirement to be a successful leader.

Welcome to the New Year 2021.  Let us all strive for a better year by working harder, focusing better, telling the truth always, adopting responsibility, and trusting more.   Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t “hope” for a better year.  We all know that hope is not an effective strategy.  My plan is to work for it.

By tradition on my leadership blog, I list the challenges/obstacles that leaders can expect to encounter in the upcoming year.  Today’s article will show where the pitfalls might be located and what a leader can do about them.  Foremost, “what we can do about it” begins with us as individuals.  We must do those things that make us better, stronger, and more resilient.

In my last post of the year in 2020, for example, I discussed the idea of using ethical guides as tools to check ourselves to verify we continue to embody and live our professional values.  Ethical leaders will be tested.  We will always be tested as we approach obstacles in the way of moral and ethical behavior.  Let us not be discouraged but renewed in the sense that what we do morally will echo in ways that we cannot ever see but know that we do make a positive difference.

The first obstacle for leaders this year will be the loss of trust and confidence in our social institutions.  Whether that lack of trust translates into action or inaction will depend upon our perceptions.  Driven by a news media that is ideologically unsympathetic to Western democratic principles, many people will lose their way.  More cynically, we have social media companies that openly censor liberal free speech.  They are not unlike the Nazis burning books in the 1930s.

A second obstacle will be political turmoil at the federal level of the U.S. government.  It matters not that you live outside the United States or within.  The impact of a government that strives for political power as an end in and of itself will mean divisiveness among the populace, friends turning against friend, strangers resorting to violence in the streets, and politicians giving their approval.  How good leaders deal with this may be a measure of the outcome years from now.

And third, a move to throw basic ethical standards out the window and our failure to have the moral courage to do anything about it.  The lack of moral courage will cause us problems that are mostly unforeseeable in specifics yet predictable in the destruction we will witness.   The waning of moral courage is a perilous development because it allows evil forces (those that would do harm to us) to grow and prosper.

I will put many of these obstacles up for discussion.  I will also strive to discuss real solutions.  Please accept my best for you and your families in our New Year 2021.  It’s going to as much an exciting ride, and it will be a challenging one.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2021

  1. Jamie Lancaster

    Gen. Satterfield, Happy New Year (a bit late but I can always fix a mistake). All the best to you.

  2. Kelvin Sue

    Happy New Year, U.S.A. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  3. José Luis Rodriguez

    Happy New Year. Now, I’m a day late but I wanted to note that this leadership blog has, indeed, made a big difference in my life over the past couple of years. Short, informative, to-the-point articles on some of the more important topics in leadership that you will find any where. And, you can make comments on them and get reasonable, thoughtful feedback. Thanks, Gen. Satterfield.

  4. whathteheck

    Happy New Year to all of Gen. Satterfield’s readers and those who post in the comments forum. We are one people trying to be the best leader we can be. This website helps. But, in the end, it is us that makes it happen or not.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Yep, glad to have you in our forums, whattheheck (interesting name, BTW).

  5. Audrey

    The question that we must all ask ourselves this year is, “What can we do to make our family and community better?” That is how real people make a difference. Protesting in the streets with a bunch of signs is the height to ignorance. First, it doesn’t work. Second, it is the same method used by socialist and it doesn’t’ work. Third, you look stupid. Fourth, protests in mass is a waste of time. Now, having a rally, that is a good thing.

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      “Protests” are a “woke” word for rioting, looting, and murder. Joe Biden likes it when it favors him. But dislikes it when it does not. Depends upon which way the wind is blowing.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Jonnie, ya da man!
      What better way to say, THANKS to everyone that has been a regular part of this leadership blog over the past year (as well as further back) and will be part of it moving forward. Keep up the great work you are doing Gen. Satterfield with this blog on senior leadership.

  6. Tom Bushmaster

    “The first obstacle for leaders this year will be the loss of trust and confidence in our social institutions. ” Yes, this will be a huge problem for us all. Most of those who spent time denigrating our social institutions have nothing to lose; they only want government intervention and handouts.

  7. Max Foster

    GREAT start to a New Year, this year 2021. It will, undoubtedly, be a challenging time for us all but we will come out of the pandemic thanks mostly to President Trump and his team. It is a good thing he was in charge, otherwise we would have been much worse off. Too many of my citizens from the US are too stupid to realize it. Sad.

    1. Joe Omerrod

      If Slow Joe Biden eventually becomes president of the USA, he will only be a figurehead. He doesn’t have the leadership faculties to really do anything. We will all be making jokes about him forever. That will be his legacy.

      1. Janna Faulkner

        So true. The USA will be laughed at when we present our President Biden as leader of the free world when he can’t even take a shower without being made a fool of himself by himself.

  8. Valkerie

    Another excellent article, General Satterfield. Thanks. Welcome to the new year 2021.

  9. Gil Johnson

    Thanks to Gen. Doug Satterfield for his fantastic blog on leadership. This past year has been a real rollercoaster but his blog has stayed on track and steady throughout these pandemic and divisive times. Keep up the great work you are doing for us all.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Yes, Gil, you and I (and just a few others) are long-standing fans and readers of Gen. Satterfield’s blog. We know from which we write and speak. I’ve learned an enormous amount of leadership from him and from others in this forum.

  10. Randy Goodman

    Ringing in the New Year 2021….. ta daaaa! Well, now that we are in a new year, let us work our darnest to make it truly a good year as well. 😊

    1. the ace

      Yep, thanks Randy. Let’s not, however, throw away any opportunities this year like so many in our nation have done. It’s amazing that so many folks line up for handouts (being the VICTIM) when just next door there are many opportunities to be self-sufficient. That’s an example of stupidity at its finest.

      1. JT Patterson

        Good comment, ace. Thanks for that. As the vaccine gets implemented throughout our nation and the presidential election is eventually decided, we will NOT get back to “normal”.

    2. Honey Flower Betsy

      Looking forward to reading this blog by Gen. Satterfield for another year. That will be part of my new year’s resolution.


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