Jaclynn (Jax) Brennan is the CEO of private membership mastermind for female entrepreneurs Fyli. Known as a NaAs Buisness.
The traditional image of a CEO for many is an older white man in a suit and tie, carrying a monogrammed briefcase with a beautiful watch and freshly cleaned shiny shoes. He breezes past a turnstile on Wall Street and sits in a corner office with big glass windows, a mahogany desk and a flashy piece of art.
I don’t think this image is necessarily a bad one, but it is one that has dominated for so long. In this new era of entrepreneurship, we are witnessing a refreshing change in the appearance and mindset of CEOs, especially in the global landscape. They now come in different forms, wearing baseball caps, tie-dye T-shirts, shorts and sandals.
The rise of entrepreneurship is evident, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that over 5 million new businesses were started in 2022 alone. On average, 4.4 million businesses are launched each year. The diversity in CEOs is not just exciting, but it also brings forth a wealth of creativity, innovation and collaboration.
A New Era And Generation Of Entrepreneurship
We are living in an era where business can be conducted anywhere and at any time. Even as I write this, I find myself working 35,000 feet above the ground. While the pandemic brought immense hardship, it also opened up new possibilities that were previously unimaginable. Over the next ten years, 53% of Gen-Zers, said they plan to launch their own firm. They are going to be doing so while traveling, building on cell phones and working from their kitchen table.
Embarking on the path of entrepreneurship is undoubtedly challenging with its fair share of ups and downs. However, it can also offer the freedom to make independent decisions, choose one’s working hours, collaborate with preferred partners and shape unique creations.
This new era of CEOs necessitates a fresh set of responsibilities for founders who are shaping their companies and visions in unconventional ways. A research report from MBO Partners estimates that there were 7.3 million digital nomads worldwide in 2019. By 2020 and 2021, this number rose to 10.9 million and 15.5 million, respectively. Baby Boomers (12%), Gen-X (23%), Gen-Z (22%) and Millennials (44%) make up the majority.
Despite the digital nature of work, human connection remains essential for effective teamwork. Without the usual morning coffee room chats or lunch breaks, how can teams build relationships and foster meaningful connections? Here are some tools and strategies to facilitate this.
Making Virtual Meetings More Engaging
• Kick off internal virtual meetings by sharing a cool new song, allowing everyone to dance and have fun before diving into work.
• Incorporate personal and professional intention-setting activities at the beginning and end of each week to set the tone and celebrate wins.
Building Team Connections
• Organize in-person company retreats or virtual team-building activities such as virtual wine tastings, dinners, bowling or arcade nights to strengthen bonds and foster camaraderie.
• Combat virtual burnout by encouraging healthy boundaries and facilitating genuine connections among team members.
Virtual Engagement And Connection
• Start meetings or team gatherings with icebreaker activities to encourage personal sharing and build rapport.
• Schedule informal virtual coffee breaks or happy hours where team members can chat about non-work-related topics, fostering an open and relaxed environment.
• Organize wellness challenges that promote physical and mental well-being, encouraging team members to participate and support one another.
Defining Boundaries And Downtime
• Recognize the importance of setting healthy boundaries as a CEO, ensuring that team members have designated work hours and sufficient time to unplug and recharge.
• Provide ample vacation days and support mental health initiatives to prioritize the well-being of the team.
• Understand that individuals have unique working processes and encourage autonomy and flexibility within the team.
Utilizing Interactive Technology
Here are some tools that have helped me put these strategies to work in this new age of connectivity.
• Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). Google provides a suite of powerful tools for seamless remote collaboration including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and Calendar.
• Logictry. This is an all-in-one no-code solutions platform capable of running part or all of your business. It can help you interact, share and connect through unlimited resources. It also includes Logic.wiki, a wiki of actionable knowledge composed of expert-created “help me decide” tools for teams and individuals.
• Asana. This versatile collaboration platform helps facilitate efficient task and project management, offering features such as task assignment, due dates, dependencies and progress tracking.
• Double A Labs. I’ve found this platform to offer immersive media and commerce tools that foster community engagement, enhance brand value and turn work into play.
The image of a CEO has undergone a transformative shift in recent years. Embracing diversity, innovation and connectivity in this new era can bring exciting opportunities and challenges. CEOs have the power to break traditional stereotypes and create inclusive environments where creativity and collaboration thrive.
The global landscape is witnessing a surge in entrepreneurship, with CEOs from all walks of life leading the way. The digital nature of work has enabled businesses to operate from anywhere, but it also requires deliberate efforts to foster meaningful connections among team members.
By leveraging tools and strategies such as engaging in virtual meetings, interactive technology and team-building activities, CEOs can cultivate a sense of belonging and camaraderie within their teams. It is crucial to prioritize wellness and set healthy boundaries, recognizing the value of downtime and individual working processes.
The traditional image of a CEO is being replaced by a more inclusive and dynamic vision, where authenticity and collaboration are paramount. By embracing these values, CEOs have the potential to transform industries, drive positive change and shape a more inclusive and connected world.
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