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Dear 2020:

I suppose you were not hopeful to receive a thank you note at the end of your year. After all, no one in their right mind would look back on you as a year to be thankful for!

No one can argue that you have been very challenging. Yet, amid all the pain and noise you have created, there are reasons to be grateful and lessons to be learned. I owe this mindset to my dear mother, an eternal optimist, who indoctrinated her “glass is half full” mentality in me as a young woman during a particularly challenging time in my life. She said “You learn the most about yourself when you suffer loss or disappointment. How you handle these challenges - that’s what creates character.” Today - this advice is perhaps even more important than ever.

In looking back on you, 2020, I found several reasons to be grateful:

  1. Courage - The front-line heroes (doctors, nurses, store clerks, delivery men and women, and so many others) showed the world fearlessness. These heroes deserve our endless and overwhelming appreciation.
  2. Vulnerability – Collectively we gave of ourselves, looked honestly in the mirror and decided to embrace change, share our hearts, open our ears not just to hear but to listen, and humble ourselves to learn -- understanding that change is long overdue.
  3. Love – For me, the love for and of my husband and daughters was the glue that held me together during this tumultuous year. Love is a powerful tool and one that was particularly important as we hunkered down - all of us - under the same roof – as adults. What an experience and an opportunity that I will cherish forever.
  4. Resilience – With the enormous challenges we faced this year, we witnessed the resiliency of the human spirit. Remember and celebrate it!
  5. Pride – When the pandemic hit, our team made a promise to each other that we would somehow find a way through the storm together. Each member took that promise seriously and “walked the talk.” They showed pride in themselves, in their work and in each other. As we hopefully near the end of the storm, I can say with confidence that we are making it through, and I am proud of our team for their tireless effort.
  6. Commitment – In the face of all the uncertainty, our clients committed resources to help leaders and their teams navigate the unknowns and face new challenges caused by the pandemic together and doubled down in their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Bravo to you!
  7. Sense of Purpose - TLD Group’s faculty of coaches, consultants, and academicians led the way in fostering calm, pivoting, creating targeted solutions for our clients, and always tying their work to a sense of purpose for our clients.
  8. Inspiration – TLD Group’s distinguished Advisory Board engaged with us, uplifted our team, and through their actions, both professionally and personally, inspired us. They motivated us to “flex” and stay focused on our purpose.

Now I bid you adieu 2020 and welcome 2021 with optimism, hope, and eternal gratefulness.


Tracy RoundTracy Duberman, PhD 
 Founder & President of The Leadership Development Group
 Phone: 973-722-4480


Written in memory of my wonderful mom and in honor of our clients, advisory board, team, faculty, colleagues, and friends.

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