Signing out of 2020 with mixed feelings

I am signing out for 2020 with some mixed feelings. It was a terrible year for most , but even so, there were still some benefits which we will all take with us.


Today is the day I would usually do a round up of the year as I am signing out of 2020. I am not sorry the year is over. It was a terrible time for many.  We were all disrupted in ways that we would never have thought possible a year ago. 2020 changed the rhythm of our every day lives and the way we dealt with problems. We all learned how important it is during a time of uncertainty to remain optimistic, to appreciate life and its most precious moments and to cherish our nearest relationships. We saw the value of savouring the natural beauty of the outdoors, and the importance of stepping back to recharge. We saw how important it was to reach out and stay connected.

2021 is now here with a global pandemic far from over and I want to continue to pursue my goals and find comfort knowing this is part of a common and bigger effort.

The good news is in theory it can only get better…. right?

Looking back

One of my favourite exercises as you know is the traffic light exercise. Do a run through and ask yourself some key questions:

GREEN –  What are you grateful for from 2020? Where did you do well and should continue doing?  What did you learn and how have you grown?

YELLOW –  Do you need to tweak anything and what could do better at? What do you need to learn?

RED –  Is there anything you can leave behind and stop doing?


9 reasons for my personal gratitude

It was hard to find anything good about 2020. But even so there were still some benefits. This is what I take with me, for which I am eternally grateful.

1. My health

As so many fell victim  to COVID 19 including immediate friends and family, I became much more mindful of taking care of my health.  I was profoundly grateful to have access to affordable and timely health treatment.

2.  Coping with a simpler and more reduced life

I am well aware that I have experienced COVID from a place of privilege, although as an extravert I almost ended up hugging my postman, I have coped. I found I probably did better than expected, helped in part by an unquenchable and naïve optimism, thinking it would all be over soon. I had an inter-continental flight booked for April 16th 2020 and only cancelled it on April 15th. I struggled at different points, but when I started  to embed a walking habit I began to appreciate nature and the beauty of the trails near my apartment.

When I expanded this to  “net-walking”  I  got out of the professional Zoom Doom cycle. Expressing gratitude also made a difference which I captured in daily photos, which I shared on Twitter! Many thanks to Claudia deCastro Caldeirinha,  Veronica Collins, Gisele Vanderstraeten and Helen Dunnett who willingly came with me!

3. Technology

I have always loved technology, and without it, none of us would have survived. It allowed business to continue as many pivoted and for those like me it permitted us to stay in touch with a dispersed family.  I was grateful I had incorporated a virtual strategy into my business plan 7 years ago, so had no need to shift under pressure. Kimberli Allen of Everything Webinar  was responsible for bringing me into a digital age all those years  ago, which put me in a good place in 2020.  Online shopping of course changed my life. I am on first name terms with drivers DHL, FedEx and of course aforementioned postman.


I am also grateful to a  strong community of professionals on social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. Here are but a selected few:

Hannah Morgan, Donna Svei, Shelley Piedmont, Susan P. Joyce  Kevin D. Turner, Sonal Bahl, Jacqui Poindexter, Ian DinwiddyAndy Foote, Jess Von Bank, Jason Averbook, Katrina Collier, Phyllis Mufson, Julia Ericson, Mark Anthony Dyson, Ed Han, Alli Polin, Kate Nasser, Annabel Kaye, Donna Schilder, Suzanne LucasAishwariya Jain, Wendi Weiner

There are many more. Their knowledge, experience and support have been invaluable to help me stay connected  and informed during the year.

4. Our clients and colleagues

I am so grateful to clients and colleagues who who supported us in 2020. Despite the pandemic we had a significant number of professional achievements ranging from creating an eLearning programme on the Prevention of Harassment, a handbook to create awareness on sexism for the European Commission and rolling out gender balance and cultural transformations for a number of major organisations.

We have coached and trained hundreds of people and helped many cope with the challenges of remote working or job search either within their organisations or as private individuals.

Special appreciation goes to long-term collaborators Isabella Lenarduzzi and Christine Cecil. 

5. The 3Plus Team.

Despite lockdown and personal challenges they maintained momentum throughout the year. Special thanks to Nicola Jesse and Emma Frazer for stellar contributions.

6. Frontline workers

We all owe our extreme gratitude to front line workers who have helped the those in need many to the detriment of their own health.

7. Vaccine

The discovery of a vaccine which we will all hope will help us all cope with this dreadful pandemic. The science behind it, is the work of BioNTech  and the brains behind the company is a husband-and-wife team of researchers: Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, founders based in the German city of Mainz. I was delighted to see a woman being recognised, when very often they are overlooked and also the value diversity  in our cultures.

8. Female leadership

2020 was the year that a female style of leadership finally came into its own and was recognised as the best way to deal with the problems created by the pandemic.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won the US election. It signalled a sea change away from toxic leadership and offered a ray of optimism for the rest of the world. My hope is that we will see a return to a time where compassion, understanding and empathy are part of our every day lives.

I look forward to a year where treating people with dignity and respect is not perceived as a form of weakness and all forms of abuse, bullying and harassment, especially by leaders, are called out and outlawed.


9. The opportunity to be European

As the U.K. leaves the E.U. I mourn for the lost opportunities for future generations of Brits to live, work and experience life in Europe. I am deeply grateful to have been accepted as a Belgian national.

Signing out of 2020

On December 31st 2020 I am channelling Barry Manilow “Looks like we made it,” although many didn’t. I am deeply sad about that.  I offer sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one during this dreadful pandemic.

I will continue to express gratitude on an almost daily basis  and am grateful that I am dealing with this crisis in damage limitation mode.

But this too will pass for all of us and there is a light on the horizon!

Stay safe and sane.

All good wishes for 2021 from everyone at 3Plus




If you need help with your career strategy for 2021 – get in touch NOW.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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