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Learnings from working post-COVID: economy, work-life, leadership

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey, shares his perspective on corporate business leadership on Business In 60 Seconds:

What do we know now that we did not know four months ago when the coronavirus struck with vengeance?

I think there's a lot. First, we've learned about our economy. We know that we've now taken the elevator down and we're taking the stairs back up. We're seeing a return, as I observe what's happening across the world, but from a very low base. And the letter of choice is not an L, a V or a U, but I think it's a big question mark.


Secondly, we've learned about what we like in the workplace and what we do not. Indeed, much that has proven attractive about remote working has stuck. Time with family. The ability to source expertise wherever it may be located. But there's much that's not. After all, as many have said to me, there's a fine line between sleeping at the office and working from home.

Third, we've learned about leadership. As one CEO suggested, all the traditional stuff does matter. Being a good listener. Being aware of the details, able to see the big picture. But perhaps the most valuable capability is one that's not often associated with CEOs, it's being able to show some love, to show some love. We've learned that first and foremost, this is a humanitarian crisis and one where empathy and understanding have really proven to be the leadership qualities that matter.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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If former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson could give incoming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advice, what would it be? "Well, first I would say, 'Ali, I'm glad it's you, not me.'" His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: For the first time in twenty years extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on the podcast to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Does Cuba belong back on the US's State Sponsors of Terrorism list? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board showed their support for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision on this issue in a recent opinion piece, "Cuba's Support for Terror." But in this edition of The Red Pen, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analysts Risa Grais-Targow, Jeffrey Wright and Regina Argenzio argue that the WSJ's op-ed goes too far.

We are now just a few days away from the official end of Donald Trump's presidency, but the impacts of his latest moves in office will obviously last far beyond Joe Biden's inauguration. There's the deep structural political polarization, the ongoing investigations into the violence we saw at the Capitol, lord knows what happens over the next few days, there's also last-minute policy decisions here and abroad. And that's where we're taking our Red Pen this week, specifically US relations with Cuba.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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