The last 10 years have seen wide-ranging changes in the role of leaders in business and politics. Major trends—from the #MeToo movement to political polarization to the disruption caused by the tech industry—have put new demands on leaders. Here are 11 of the biggest triumphs, failures and evolutions that have defined the decade.
Businesses take a stand
JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon is chair of the Business Roundtable, which has said that … [+]
Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images
From #MeToo to climate change, customers and shareholders now expect companies to weigh in on pressing social issues. Whether this represents savvy branding or corporate woke-ness is an open question.
The gig economy takes over
Uber’s IPO in May valued the company at over $80 billion and marked the ascendance of the gig … [+]
Uber and Lyft weren’t the only ones to embrace the flexibility—and instability—of the wide world of gigging: It’s the primary work arrangement of some 57 million Americans.
The debatable power of leaning in
Sheryl Sandberg, leaning in.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Sandberg’s 2013 book became a rallying cry for a generation of female executives, but its feminist bona fides are still being debated.
Brexit stymies the Brits
Former Prime Ministers Theresa May and David Cameron, – pictured with Gordon Brown and John Major – … [+]
Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images
The U.K.’s exit from the European Union has frustrated the ambitions of British politicians since 2016 and cost both David Cameron and Theresa May their spots as prime minister.
The long-lasting influence of #MeToo
McDonald’s workers and activists with #MeToo slogans protested sexual harassment.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
The sexual-assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein spawned a social media movement that went viral. #MeToo has exposed fault lines of sexism in industries ranging from venture capital to fast food.
Breaking the stranglehold of NDAs?
Pete Buttigieg initially declined to speak about his time at McKinsey, citing his NDA.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
The enforced silence brought about by non-disclosure agreements became a hotly contested topic during the last few years of the decade, at first stemming from #MeToo, then extending to Pete Buttegieg’s work for McKinsey. The balance of power between employer and employee may never be the same.
Filling big shoes: the Tim Cook story
Tim Cook has preserved Jobs’ legacy, if not his turtleneck.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
It’s hard to imagine a harder act to follow than Steve Jobs. But the way Cook has handled his role as successor to an icon is one of the decade’s leadership triumphs.
The president as Disrupter-in-Chief
A polarized country can agree on one thing: It’s not business as usual with President Trump. (Photo … [+]
While unable to enact key parts of his platform, Trump’s unconventional charisma secured a massive upset victory in 2016, and in the years since he has utterly transformed the nature of the Republican party.
Obamacare transforms healthcare
President Barack Obama after signing the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
Now nearly a decade old, Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy overcame stiff opposition and fundamentally redefined the healthcare debate in the U.S. Despite a recent appeals court decision that may jeopardize the individual mandate, a return to pre-Obama era healthcare is hard to imagine.
Chaos theory: the tech world’s iconoclasts
Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcasing the Cybertruck (its “unbreakable” window glass sustained a few hits). … [+]
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
From Elon Musk to Adam Neumann, eccentric tech CEOs proved that they could secure big cash from venture capital, if not consistent results.
Boards flex their muscle
Mark Okerstrom, former president and CEO of Expedia, resigned due to strategic disagreements with … [+]
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Corporate boards have increasingly been acting as a counterweight to chief executives, with directors taking on ever-greater responsibility, sometimes in direct opposition to CEOs.