5 Tips for Becoming a Better Leader in Your 20(20)s


Just like the awkward teenage years, our collective teens (aka 2010-2019) were full of nonstop change. Ten years ago, we didn’t order Ubers or stay in Airbnbs. We didn’t take selfies and post them to Instagram or Snapchat. FaceTime didn’t exist, iPads weren’t a thing, and we didn’t bark orders at someone named Alexa. In under a decade, these innovations have changed the way we live and work.

This pace of technology-driven change shows no sign of slowing. Automation and AI continue to reshape entire industries and professions, and in the process, change the skills we need for success. If you relied on your leadership skills to navigate the turbulence of the past decade, you’re going to need even deeper leadership expertise in the decade ahead.

Planning your (20)20s

Becoming a better leader starts with setting goals for your development. That’s precisely what drives us at Leadership & Co.—developing leaders who work more collaboratively, think more critically and creatively, speak more persuasively, and lead with greater agility.

As our 2020 begins, we’re excited to help develop stronger leaders in organizations around the world—from industry leaders to start-ups, from corporations to nonprofits.

As your 2020 begins, we hope you invest time reflecting on your leadership path thus far, and planning the journey ahead.

Here are five concrete leadership resolutions for you to consider as you kick off a new year—and a new decade—full of yet more change.

Be more intentional about your network

Developing a diverse network ensures you get exposure to diverse perspectives, perhaps your greatest weapon against thinking bias.

TIP #1: Meet one new person each month who has a different role or professional background, or a demographic difference. Inevitably, you’ll be exposed to different perspectives and new ideas.

Be a more critical and creative thinker

The deeper your experience, the more likely you are to bring assumptions to problems you’re trying to solve. Often that experience yields valuable insights, but it also creates blindspots.

TIP #2: When tackling business problems, dig deeper and ask “why?” at least one more time than you ordinarily would. You’re more likely to uncover new root causes to solve and potentially more innovative solutions to solve them.

Be more influential

One of the fastest ways to increase your influence is by tailoring your interactions to your audience. Personalizing your message—and how you deliver it—will help your message land better.

TIP #3: Plan your next critical conversation by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. Before your meeting, ask yourself, “If I were in their position, what would I be most interested in?” Script out language you think will resonate with them.

Be more agile and adaptive to change

Most changes that surprise us could have been anticipated if we’d taken time to scan our environment. Successfully anticipating changes helps us to adapt better to them, and enables us to lead others through turbulent times.

TIP #4: Set aside 10 minutes at the start of your week to reflect on the following questions: what happened last week that surprised you? As you look at the week ahead, what are possible curveballs you can expect?

Be more curious

Cultivating a curious mindset helps us think more critically and ultimately, make better decisions. Exploring your interests is one way to cultivate your curiosity. But exploring new topics and discovering new interests often leads to new ways of thinking.

TIP #5: Watch a TED Talk on a topic you’ve never really explored. Or ask someone to recommend an interesting book in a genre you don’t typically read.

Need help executing on your leadership resolutions?

Leadership & Co. builds practical leadership skills critical for the decade ahead through an immersive, cohort-based learning experience.

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