What 2021 requires from leaders


In Winter nature takes a break. Conversely in business, Spring has come early for those companies with the determination to press ahead. Many have decided it is time to get going, take action and initiate change, NOW!

So what does 2021 require from leaders? Here are 5 thoughts to consider.


Going, going, gone! What 2021 requires from leaders.


Take Action

It’s time to stop delaying those big decisions and initiate action. Get out of reactionary mode and be proactive about pursuing growth. Believing it’s possible in tough times is the first step.

The Harvard business review reports that companies that made significant changes and in particular acquisitions during the great recession actually outperformed those that didn’t take the risk.

Household names including Disney, Fed Ex and Air BnB launched during downturns, and we’ve seen them go from strength to strength.

Be prepared to move quickly to secure talent

The determinants for successfully capturing talent are almost infinite but in our view there are a few key things:

Does the candidate really understand the part that they will get to play in the story of your company?

Can you take the candidate through a robust but speedy process that gives them the full 360? You should optimise for shorter times between each step.

Even in apparent soft markets, talented individuals will achieve market rates be prepared to go the extra mile if you really believe in them.  Have an offer that exceeds expectations but also results in an acceptance.

Don’t cut marketing or advertising (if you can avoid it)

As a popular saying goes, ‘When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.’ Make sure a reasonable budget is set aside for both.

Interestingly, there have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets while there’s a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards.

When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its ‘share of mind’ with consumers, with the potential of losing business going forward.

Customer needs are key

Leaders need to make sure customer needs are being met. It may seem obvious, but many businesses are choosing to reject new technology in e-commerce for the sake of saving cash, without realising the potential money to be made by moving with the times.

It’s important that new services and products are prioritised, as customers needs have changed dramatically, and they don’t look like they’ll be reverting in a hurry. For example, McKinsey research suggests that 80% of consumers hope to continue the new shopping habits they adopted last year.

Lead with Purpose

For successful leaders, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst in reigniting a drive to determine their brand’s purpose. Those at the top need to motivate colleagues, partners, investors and clients by adopting and articulating a meaningful purpose for the organisation and aligning strategies and operations accordingly.

When you are clear on your purpose as a leader you will lead more purposefully and authentically, and you will bring a level of focus, commitment, and energy that will propel you and your team forward.

As Nick Craig stated in his book, Leading from Purpose: ‘whether in business or in our personal lives, a strong sense of purpose offers firm footing on shifting ground’.


Looking to build the strong foundations needed for a future of growth? Speak to us confidentially at +44 (0) 203 675 1459, or email Orlando Martins at [email protected].

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