Winning Ways: Seven Leadership Lessons From 2021

Every year brings new lessons for leaders. Which 2021 events were most influential? Seven experts share their views.

January 2021: Biden uses the power and words

President Joe Biden was installed after Trump supporters stormed Washington DC’sD.C.’s Capitol Building. Five people died in the attack. Biden used simple language in his inauguration speech to refer to recent tragic events: “Today, We Celebrate the Triumph Not of a Candidate, but a Cause, The Cause of Democracy.”

Chris West, founder and partner at the tone of voice agency Verbal identity, believes that the principle of simple language can be applied to both writing and speaking. He is also the author of Strong Language: Why You Shouldn’t Use It. He states, “Elaborate language smothers communication.”

West states that writing is not about having features. It’s all about having benefits. Talk about what you don’t do. Talk about the benefits for the person listening.

April 2021 – The day that the data stopped

“When Apple launched iOS 14.5 back in April, it forced many major tech organizations to rethink how they do business,” says Steven van Belleghem. A thought-leader, speaker, and author on customer service, Steven van Belleghem is an expert, speaker, and author. “The major update made it easier for users not to be tracked, and millions of people stopped data flowing to specific apps.

Van Belleghem believes leaders face a significant challenge in gaining or regaining customer trust. He states that data ownership is now moving back to the users. That requires a change in thinking to ensure that the value you bring to customers’ lives outweighs what you get from their data.

May 2021: Goldman Sachs calls workers into the office

Most employers and employees began to accept hybrid working as a way of working. However, there were some exceptions. For example, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said to his staff that they had to go back to work full-time.

“Leadership involves listening to your staff and creating a psychological contract that meets both the employer’s and employee’s needs,” said Professor Sir Cary Cooper. The Healthy Workforce. “Control cultures at work don’t deliver long-term results. They lead to stress-related ill-health, lower productivity and ultimately, higher labor turnover.”

June 20, 2121: Gareth Southgate takes an anti-racism stand

“When Gareth Southgate brings out an Open Letter to Fans before Euro 2020,” Lilian Thuram says. Lilian Thuram is a former professional footballer and author of Black Thinking: Behind the Mask Of Racial Identity.

Southgate’s team of young players had taken the knee to oppose racism and had been booed in their home. Thuram says that Southgate provided a vigorous defense of his players in response. “A leader listens carefully to his team and protects them against external attacks. When everyone feels safe, they will give their best.

July 2021 – Emma Raducanu “fails” at Wimbledon

“Emma Raducanu was a rising star of world tennis when she won the Wimbledon 2021 title,” said Hedda, who is the author of The Performance Management Playbook. It contains 15 essential conversations that will motivate and guide you in managing your people.

In the fourth round of the series, her breathing difficulties caused her to withdraw. However, it was discovered that she was mentally unable to deal with the pressure. In just two months, Raducanu was standing on her knees, ready to give her ‘fairytale of New York.’ But how did she do that?

Bird suggests that Raducanu exhibited the three characteristics associated with high performance. These are hard work, persistence, and resilience. Raducanu built a new team to help her on her journey.

September 2021 – Employers Hit by The Great Resignation

In the USU.S., there has been the Great Resignation for the past few months. In September alone, 4.4 million Americans quit. Nearly 26% of employees in the UKU.K. are actively searching for new jobs.

So why do people leave? “Because they have failed to engage their leaders emotionally,” says Brian Hartzer (leadership mentor, author of The Leader Star: A Practical Guide for Building Engagement ).

Hartzer believes leaders need to ask the following essential questions: “Do employees experience being cared for as individuals?” Does the organization’s mission give them meaning? Do they see their work as contributing to it? Are they clear on their responsibilities? Do they feel safe and supported? Are they able to feel appreciated for their efforts? Leaders who can answer “Yes” to the above questions will have little to worry about The Great Resignation.

October 2021. Digital tiaras sell for $340,000.

Dolce & Gabbana selling a digital tiara wasn’t physically existed was a peek into how metaverses – virtual worlds that allow people to trade digital currencies and tokens – are now a reality. Simon Robinson, CEO of consultancy Holonomics and coauthor of Deep Tech as well as the Amplified Organization, said that “digital platforms, driven artificial intelligence and natural language processing are creating exciting new offers for brands to connect with their customers, fan bases, and customers.”

He urges leaders to see how this new era in the digital economy can help them “to elevate and prosper their brands, and to help people to thrive, flourish collectively, and solve social and ecological problems in profoundly innovative ways.”

November 2021 – COP26: Women must take action on climate

To be successful in the fight against weather change, it is essential to consider a wide range of perspectives and approaches. This includes both women and men. However, the lack of diversity between stakeholders criticized the COP26 summit on climate change.

Jessica Robinson, and author of Financial Feminism and founder of Moxie Future’s insights community Moxie Future, says that gender diversity on boards is a powerful driver of corporate carbonization. She cites research that shows diverse boards are more likely to take climate change than carbon-emitting corporations.

Robinson states, “Time after time, we see female entrepreneurs building ground-breaking companies that are focused on solving the major climate challenges facing us.” Robinson says high time venture capital funds recognized this and supported and funded women actively working to create climate solutions.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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