The third decade of the 21st century has thrown a major spanner into the way the world works, but even before this, there were people like Zander Grashow beating the drum for positive change to the way we meet challenges in the business world.
He argues, with eloquence and charm, that the answer isn’t mass layoffs and longer hours. It’s smarter thinking, smarter leadership. Humans function best when challenged, not overworked. Humans fight, flee or freeze under extreme stress and that isn’t a failing, it’s just biology. Leaders need to accept that they’re somewhere they’ve never been before and that the old solutions probably won’t work. Experimentation, and the acceptance of some failures along the way, is key. Individual evolution and adaptation aren’t just good for employers, it’s an essential part of being human.
As a coach, consultant and public speaker he delivers relevant and effective techniques and guides, all with a little bit of the C-Suite swagger. He has been shaking the tree at Harvard, the White House and the Fortune 500 for a while, proving that our noblest actions can be good business. He knows that humankind needs those noble actions.
If all that sounds a bit intense for a party, and 2269 is a party, Grashow believes, deeply, in the power of music as medicine. The self-proclaimed “Musical Pharmacist” proudly self-medicates on his Spotify playlists and we’re sure he’ll have some very strong views on our choices for the greatest party of all time. Guess we’ll see him by the DJ booth, or maybe in it.
Give yourself permission to be both optimistic and realistic. This will create a healthy tension that keeps optimism from turning into denial and realism from devolving into cynicism.
NB. This article was written back when our ‘Guests of Honour’ section was called ‘The 2269 Pantheon’.