Non-stop learning

From 2020 Vision leader’s blog


This classic TED video with Sir Ken Robinson on the subject of “How schools kill creativity” is still as good and relevant and important as it was 8, 5 years ago when he made the actual talk. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do – it’s worth every minute of your time.

One of the key point that he makes, that is also relevant to being a leader in 2020 and beyond, is that we don’t know what the world will look like in a few years, so we need to teach children how to think for themselves not just memorise data that may become incorrect over time anyway.

What this tells us is that the speed of change along with the fact that we just don’t know everything anyway, requires us to keep a very open, curious mind. Every single day offers opportunities for learning, for challenging the status quo. Leaders need to keep learning and encouraging others to do the same. Many leaders are however challenged by this as they feel they are so busy anyway, that making time for learning is hard. Having said that, many leaders are also starting to realise that learning happens every day, naturally, when they stay open to receiving learning in daily situations and interactions.
Leadership is about learning, as it’s hard to lead if you don’t stay ahead, right?

So leadership is about learning – learning about

  • Self – what motivates me, how do I come across to others, what stresses me etc
  • Others – what makes them tick, what do they believe in, what worries them etc
  • The business – what’s our vision, what do we do well, what could we do better etc
  • Stakeholders – what do they need, what do we need from them, how can they support etc
  • Competitors – what are they doing, what can we learn from them, how can we stay a step ahead of them etc
  • Society and politics – what is changing in rules and regulation, what challenges faces the country/industry/society as a whole – and how does that affect us? etc

This is by no means a complete list. There is so much learning.

What do you think is the most important thing for leaders to learn?

Or what is most important for you specifically to learn right now?

Please share and get the discussion going

When a manager became a leader

From 2020 Vision leader’s blog


Not that long ago, there were mostly “managers” and very few “leaders”. It may simply have been a question of semantics, but it probably also describes the changing map of leadership. We saw a shift in how the word manager started to be replaced by the word leader more and more, about 20 years ago.  New things were expected of those in people leadership/management position and the words started to describe that change. There was less supervision and more visionary and inclusive behaviours.

What will be next? Will “leadership” continue to the word of choice, or will that change too in a not too distant future? This is interesting to consider, particularly as younger generations who are coming into the workplace are hesitant to take on leadership roles, as the idea of a hierarchical position is unattractive.

So what is next? What comes after the “leader”? What word do you think could describe the “leader” of the future?

The bottom line

From 2020 Vision leader’s blog


Most people are of course familiar with the concept of the bottom line.

It’s about financial viability. Decisions need to consider the impact on the bottom line; ie – is this action/product/service/investment etc going to add to the bottom line or subtract from it? This is naturally of massive importance to any organisation. It’s not viable to do things that are not going to pay back in some way. So far, we’re probably all in agreement.

There’s however growing argument for the consideration of three, rather than just the one bottom line. It’s the “3 P’s” bottom line.

And the 3 P’s are Profit, People and Planet.

What does it mean? Simply that an organisation that wants to be successful over time, not just immediately, needs to judge all decisions, all actions against these three measures;

And the 3 P’s are Profit, People and Planet.

What does it mean? Simply that an organisation that wants to be successful over time, not just immediately, needs to judge all decisions, all actions against these three measures;

Calling all current and future leaders!

From 2020 Vision leader’s blog

There are many leaders in this world. Some are natural leaders without having a leadership position – people just seem to listen to them and follow them anyway. Some are leaders through a manager position, and may be natural leaders as well.

Regardless of what kind of leader you may be or want to be, you can be sure of one thing: Leadership, like everything else, is changing. And it’s changing fast. And if you want to be successful as a leader, you need to develop at the pace of that change.

What was expected of a leader even 20 years ago is not necessarily the same as what is expected today and certainly not what will be expected, indeed needed, in 2020.

Here at 2020 Vision Leader, we will explore what will be expected of the Leader of the future:

  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Qualities
  • Behaviours
  • Work habits
  • And more…

We will share studies and findings on the subject, we will share our own observations from the work we do as passionate leadership advocates, working as consultant with organizations all around the world.

The purpose of all this is to provide greater information on leadership for the future, and HOW TO develop that leadership.

Why is this all so important?

Well, a Gallup study once showed that “people join companies and leave leaders”. This is how important it is. Leaders have the potential to engage people in working together for the good of the company, its customers, its owners, its employees, it various stakeholders – and the world as a whole (considering our limited natural resources) – to create long-term success and results.

Let’s get the discussion started. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the subject below.

Thanks for joining us.

Elisabet Vinberg Hearn and Mandy Flint

Authors of the award-winning book “The Team Formula”

“Take off the corporate cloak”

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog


“I always felt like I was wearing a corporate cloak so I felt like I couldn’t be myself, then I took it off and it allowed me to be the real me” – a senior leader on the board 


We recently worked with a senior leader who said this to us. It makes us think about just how many of us feel like we are trying to be the perfect corporate citizen? We have so much training and conditioning to mould us into the way others want us to be.

We are sometimes made to believe that we have to be:

  • Like others
  • Like our colleagues
  • Like the corporate person
  • Like our bosses
  • Like our peers
  • Like the competition
  • Like the perfect presenter, leader, boss, partner etc

When we really just need to be ourselves. When we are our authentic self, being ourselves, we are then showing others the best version of us.

When we work with senior leaders people will ask us “Do you have to work on their areas for development, do you have to focus on what they need to improve in?” No is the answer most of the time, we help them to be who they really are, bringing out the real person. If we are not careful with all that conditioning we can become something we are not.

 “With all that conditioning we can become something we are not”

It is not to say that we cannot learn and grow and change, of course we can. The most powerful leaders and the ones whose careers go the furthest, are those who are aware of themselves, being comfortable with who they are. They know when that works for them and when it doesn’t, they adapt and change.

So take off your corporate cloak and bring out the real you, show that to others and watch your career grow.

“When we are ourselves we are showing the best version of ourselves to others, they meet the real version of us”






About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”. Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders” – Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA.

Take pride in what you do

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog


One of us had two very different customer experiences this last week.


The first one was in a café where I had gone for a much needed morning coffee before my first work meeting of the day. Walking up to the counter I was met by someone who looked at me, smiled, asked relevant questions and made me feel truly welcome. And what’s more – she did it in a completely natural and genuine way – no false airs, no pretence – just completely engaging in her job and doing it brilliantly. I could have hired her then and there! (if she had been looking for a job)
The second experience was very different. I was in a hardware store in town and walked up to the till to pay. I was met by a woman who didn’t look at me, continued talking to her colleagues (just hanging around behind the counter) about what they were going to do in their spare time, didn’t offer me a bag for my goods and didn’t thank me (she did take my money though J). I’m not rushing to get back there.

To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.
Sister Mary Lauretta

The reason we’re sharing these stories with you is this: Sure, we’ve all have good and bad days and varying outcomes as a result, but these stories are about so much more than just ‘good or bad days’.

We can approach our work (and everything else we do) in one of two ways – we can take pride in what we do, or not. Whichever choice we make, it reflects back on ourselves – and it ripples out from us onto others.

So do take pride in what you do. Never, ever waste your time by not taking pride.

Pride feels great, looks great and does great!



About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at

Praise for ”Leading Teams”: I bought in from the first paragraph; ten chapters of real and practical examples on how to lead a team with characters skilfully portraying the tensions faced by leaders every day. A leadership masterclass.

Lynn Hill, Deputy CEO, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Turst, Hertfordshire