Nine leadership lessons for 2023

05 December 2022

In a world that currently feels devoid of leaders who possess basic humanity, common sense, wisdom and integrity, the IMEX Group asked some partners and speakers for their reflections on leadership.

Rather than trendspotting for 2023, they were asked a different question: Describe what you believe great leaders MUST do in 2023 to ensure greater business success and prosperity for all? (The key being the word ‘all’. Progress and prosperity for a lucky few doesn’t count).

IMEX doesn’t doubt great leaders exist. Indeed, many of those who work in the global business events industry have first-hand experience that proves they do!

1. Andy Sharpe, CEO, SongDivision –

I think great leaders in 2023 will need to listen - they need to listen to their people, and listen to their customers. Emails, texts and team meetings on Zoom all have their place, but one-on-one conversation is where the truth of the matter is revealed, where nuances are clearer, where people are really heard. We can’t read minds (yet), so I believe the only way to solve problems for our teams and for our clients is to listen to them in direct conversation.

2. Tina Bonner CEO & Founder, Caps Lock Agency | MYP Coaching | Black In Meta -

Peak Performance = Peak Impact
Just like the flight attendant says on the airplane “put your mask on first, before helping someone else”, more than ever, leaders must prioritise their mental and physical wellness so they can operate at peak performance. Peak performance = Peak Impact! When leaders are healthy, from the inside out, they make better decisions, have more empathy, and get more done!

3. Matthias Schultze, Managing Director, German Convention Bureau (GCB) -

Open Up
I am convinced that successful leadership of the future requires an open mind as well as open structures. For me, this also includes the concept of open innovation: sharing your ideas and thereby enhancing them, creating value and new business models.

4. Paul McVeigh, M.Sc. - Performance Psychology -

What’s Stopping You?
Lots of people have put their life on pause for the last couple of years and stopped themselves from living their best life. I would encourage everyone to think about where they are going, what they truly want and to realise that we really don’t have that many days to create this life as you never know when the sands of time are going to run out.

5. Daniel Scheffler –

Don’t Believe Everything You Think
Scheffler, who’s written for the New York Times, Spin, Wonderlust Travel, Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and many more travel titles, puts it bluntly – as only he can. ‘Don’t believe everything you think’ is a call to put our egos aside, to quiet the voice in our head that has 100 opinions, frequently all at once, and step away from analysing and pre-judging to embrace everything his newsletter ‘Without Maps’ stands for: heart, not head. Adventure, not fear.

6. Drew S. Holmgreen, CED, Chief Brand Officer, Meeting Professionals International –

Be Empathetic
We’ve individually and collectively been put through the proverbial ringer the last two-plus years, putting us all in very different places mentally, physically and emotionally. By keeping those perspectives in mind, leading with patience and understanding and committing ourselves to being empathetic, we will find the positive ground necessary for everyone to prosper!

7. Tracy Stuckrath, Founder of thrive! meetings & events –

Create Inclusive Experiences
When employees feel appreciated, respected, and know that their needs are being met at work, they feel more compelled to participate fully and make a difference. Building truly inclusive workplaces encourages a whole new level of employee engagement.

8. Kai Kight, keynote, artist, composer, and entrepreneur -

Understanding Self
I think it’s time we build workplaces, environments and places of gathering that are truly built for the humans inside of them. And we can’t build a world for ourselves unless we first know ourselves.

9. Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group –

Kindness Is a Global Superpower
According to The Economist, quoting the United Nations, on November 15th 2022 the earth’s population officially reached 8 billion. That’s a lot of humans sharing one home!

The past few years and especially 2022 have been marked by political upheaval, war, economic pressures and, sadly, headlines that shout stories of systemic racism, bullying, harassment, fraud, lies and more. Those headlines seem to suggest we’re all doomed but I don’t see it that way. Quite the opposite.

When the global meetings and business events industry comes together I see - and feel - generosity, community, kindness, camaraderie, co-operation and, importantly, an innate understanding that business works best when countries are at peace, not war.

21st century science clearly shows that human health - emotional, physical, spiritual - depends on us feeling connected to each other. I believe we can start creating a better future right now by showing each other small kindnesses every day. If we all take responsibility for behaving with a little more kindness and compassion, imagine how much we could ALL achieve, together.


Notes to editors

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 23 – 25 May 2023 at Messe Frankfurt -
IMEX America takes place 16 –19 October 2023 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas -

Recent industry awards and accolades include:-
• AEO Best International Trade Show, Americas
• TSE Grand Award for Most Commendable Green Initiatives
• TSE Gold 100
• EIC Sustainable Event Standards Platinum Certificate

News archive -
Press information, please contact Emma Blake: [email protected]

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