7 Lessons We Learned Last Year

1. Relationships will save your bacon. We’ve always known this to be true, but never more than in the last three years. It’s true of the relationships we have within our team, with our clients, with our business networks, and with you—our online community. We all hear a lot about the power of networking. But you know what? Networks, at their core, are just constructs. Build relationships.

2. There’s power in change. There’s also plenty of fear and cringing that goes with it, but change always shows us what is possible. As the annoying saying goes, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there.” So as tired as we all are of hearing the word pivot, remember that change never fails to also bring with it progress, adaptability, new beginnings, and a heaping helping of personal growth.

3. Common sense is not that common. And we’re pointing our fingers inward, not just at the world. Perhaps it’s that we’re all out of practice milling about the world together or that we’re just too eager to get to the places we can go now, but there seems to be a lot less common sense out there than there used to be. So if like us, you’re feeling a few social clunks and bumps as you accelerate from first gear to fourth, here are a few common courtesies that we’re working on: leave an extra 15 minutes early to wherever you’re going. Wait your turn patiently. Give others the benefit of the doubt. And return your damn cart to the cart return!

4. Holding space is harder than it sounds. Learning to hold space was on a lot of people’s to-do lists last year, including ours. Whether you’re holding space for others or yourself, it’s never easy to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present without also jumping into problem-solving mode—or—inadvertently centering yourself. Also not easy? Practicing radical humility, acceptance, and relinquishing control. So, yes, holding space is w-a-y harder than it sounds. But not as hard as feeling unsupported or cared for.

5. Meetings are better with breakfast. Period.

6. Phone calls aren’t (that) scary. Nothing will remind you what a joy the phone is like having to jump on a video call you forgot about, whilst sporting bad hair and the Swedish Chef “Vert der Ferk?” T-shirt you slept in. So, yeah, being heard but not seen when you’re working from home has its perks. Also, phone calls are super-efficient when you keep them short, the person is expecting the call, and they know why you’re calling.

7. Kindness is a strength, not a weakness. 2022 marked MCQUEEN’s 15th Anniversary. And while many things have changed here along the way, there’s one thing that hasn’t: our belief that you don’t have to choose between doing good and doing well. They should go hand-in-hand. Simply put, here at MCQUEEN, we believe in doing excellent work—but never at the cost of kindness to others. Here’s to another 15!