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5 Ways to be a Successful Leader in 2021

By The Sweeney Agency

Did you know that according to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 41% of employees globally are considering leaving their employers this year? (LinkedIn 2021) Think about that. Forty-one percent of the entire workforce is ready to leave their role in the next 12 months. So where will they go?

That is approximately 60,270,000 people who are currently considering leaving their jobs, leaving enormous gaps in the workforce and some industries.

While remote work is not the only factor at play causing this surprisingly high number, it does have something to do with it.

As Microsoft’s report says: “a thoughtful approach to hybrid work will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent.”

We approached some of our best Leadership Event Speakers for their insights into how leaders can build and create new ways of working that create strong teams, lower burnout rates and increase employee retention

Here’s what they had to say:


Colette Carlson – Motivating Speaker on Communication

Connect Through Compassion

Communication Keynote Colette Carlson Speakers Bureau The Sweeney AgencyIf we accept the ancient Roman thought that compassion is “suffering alongside of someone else in need of us,” we quickly understand that the compassionate and truly connected leader strives to offer guidance or resources or direction to the employee to help available within the organization.

If we care as leaders, then we must suffer just a bit alongside those we lead.

Interestingly, the compassionate leader does not need heavy doses of empathy but rather needs to understand that a valued employee within the organization may require their nurturing, problem solving, and support.



Sterling Hawkins – Leadership Expert

Why asking Why is Essential to Leadership

Innovation Keynote Sterling Hawkins The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau
What Indiana Jones Teaches Us About Business

The most effective way for a group, business, or individual to deal with a culture-based problem is not to necessarily find an immediate solution. The right approach doesn’t have an immediate solution.

The effective approach will ask: Why? And this is how to fix culture-based problems.


  • Why is it a problem to begin with? 
  • Why and when did the problem start? 
  • Why is it happening?

It’s not what. It’s why (and when). Asking why will become your best friend. When you get to the source of any problem and can effectively deal with them, there’s no stopping you. 

The challenge I’ll leave you with is this: Start paying attention to how you handle problems, upsets and/or issues. What’s your go-to response? Your responses might actually be different when dealing with different things, so look closely. 

Once you can see how you’re working in different cultures, you can create a little space to step back from it and ask why. When you ask why, you’ll start to impact the nebulous nature of culture and start to transform it into something that’s much more effective, workable, and even fun. 


Denise Lee Yohn – Leading Authority and Speaker on Building Exceptional Brands

Initiate, Invent & Inspire

Denise Lee Yohn, Marketing keynote speaker at The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

This new year requires a different kind of leadership. Whether you are the head of your organization or a small team leader, you have the opportunity to initiate, invent and inspire — and lead others to make 2021 the best year ever.

Leadership is critical in 2021 if we want our organizations to withstand the challenges of the pandemic that will continue well into the new year. We can’t afford to hope things will get better – we have to make them better.

 We do this by leading in three ways:

  1. Initiate: Anticipate change and take advantage of the unique opportunities that exist in crises
  2. Invent: Create new business models, products, solutions, and even new approaches to operations and employee experience
  3. Inspire: Motivate customers, employees, and other stakeholders through purpose, vision, and human connection


Tom Flick – All-Pro Authority on Leadership, Leading Change and Increasing Performance

Humility is the Most Important Leadership Quality

Leadership Speaker Tom Flick on Humility & Leadership at The Sweeney Agency Speakers BureauThe success, growth, and development of a team can only flourish in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Those who lead by the rule of “my way or the highway” demand their employees’ compliance. On the other hand, leaders who listen and seek input from their team members, foster a culture in which all ideas are valued; respect is earned, not demanded.

Research has proven leaders who score high in this unassuming and often overlooked trait listen more effectively, motivate exceptional teamwork, and align everybody on organizational strategy and goals.



Pandit Dasa – Mindful Leadership Expert

Mindset & Management

Pandit Dasa, speaker on mindfulness & leadership at The Sweeney Agency Speakers BureauLife will always provide us with incredible growth opportunities and it will usually do that by throwing a wrench into our current plans. These obstacles allow us an opportunity to raise our self-awareness about how we react to such curve balls and what kind of person we become.

Does our best side come out when challenged or does it turn us into Mr. Hyde? Does it trigger our more compassionate and caring side or does a more selfish and indifferent aspect of our personality emerge?

In an attempt to create a more positive mindset towards our current situation and have a more mindful approach I’d like us to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What is this situation teaching me about myself?
  2. How can these unforeseen obstacles help me grow as a person?
  3. Are any new opportunities arising as a result of this?


Creating, managing, and maintaining hybrid workspaces and remote teams requires a new skill set that asks more of leaders than traditional office environments. How have your leaders adapted? And what are you doing to support your teams, as well as your leaders, to foster and cultivate positive workspaces?

Help your teams be more effective leaders. Contact us to book one of these speakers by clicking the link below.

Get your Customized List of Keynote Speakers Right now


    To Learn more about these Leadership Conference Speakers contact [email protected]

    Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]