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1st June 2021
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Unprecedented Leadership - the launch of an exciting new project

1st June 2021

The word unprecedented has been used unprecedentedly during these unprecedented times. 

It's a bit of a mouthful as sayings go. 

The 2020 Covid pandemic has tested Business Leaders like never before, because we haven’t had a playbook, a precedent to guide us in our decision making.

Leadership has never been more front and centre, we’ve been under the microscope both internally and externally and the phrase "internal comms" has risen to the top of most of our agendas.

With this in mind, I am proud to launch a new project called "Unprecedented".

This project will feature adaptive leaders who are willing to share their expert advice and war stories from the challenges of navigating through the past year.

The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a content archive for current and future leaders to use and learn from people at the top of their games. It will also give you a great way to tell your own personal story and that of your business in order to assist with both the future recruitment and retention of your very best people.

What is Unprecedented?

Unprecedented is an online library of leadership content aimed at the leaders of the future. It is a library of suggestions, ideas and answers to 25 questions and problems faced during this unparalleled experience that we have all been through since March 2020.

The content is in the form of written blogs and video recordings of (socially distanced) one to one’s between myself and business leaders who had a strong desire to support the project.

Unprecedented is not a commercial project. It is a project aimed at supporting one another and helping the Leaders of the Future when faced with a similar challenge to the 2020 Pandemic in the years or decades to come. We hope that Unprecedented will set the precedent and give future Exec Teams something to look back on to compare their situation/s to.

What is the story behind it?

Re-wind to March 16th. I was in London and walking to the Theatre with my girlfriend and looking forward to watching Pretty Woman the musical.

That was the night that Boris announced the theatre district was closing until further notice.

That was the night that COVID-19 became really, and I mean really, real for me.

I had previously led Macildowie through the financial crisis in 2008-2010. But this was different. There was no play book. We’d never shut our offices before or faced life and/or death decisions.

That week in March was a week for intuition and gut instinct but I remember vividly speaking to a trusted confidente in one of those “four letter word” moments. He said to me “JT, when this is all over, and it will be one day, just remember that people will remember the way that you made them feel”.

Having someone to turn to, even for a quick 5 minute call, was invaluable.

Having a support network is essential component to the toolkit of any business leader and during Lockdown 1.0 we were all faced with challenges that none of us had ever faced before.

Deciding whether to Furlough or not to furlough and then who to furlough, without putting our businesses into hibernation. FD’s navigating through CBILS, HR and Exec Teams ensuring everyone was able to WFH (work from home) safely, everyone working out how to ZOOM – all of these things we had to plan for and execute in rapid time. Then came the challenge of bringing people back into the offices and ensuring that they were covid secure. How do you bring some back some, whilst others remain furloughed without ruining your culture and risk disengaging people?

During all of this, I felt so lucky to have a brilliant network around me. An awesome Leadership Team supported by the Elite Leaders Mastermind Group every week. But I wanted more. So I started a weekly CEO Mastermind Group of my own, facilitated by Laurence Duncan.

We have all learned so so much since Lockdown began in March. It would be criminal not to capture the lessons learned by Business Leaders… and that is how the idea came about. In Sam Evans, I have met someone who shares my passion for helping other people, my passion for Leadership. Together we have created Unprecedented and we hope that you have the desire to take part.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came to me whilst I was sat in my garden early in Lockdown. I’d awoken at 4.30am (which was the norm for me early on in lockdown) and was writing a blog about furlough.

I googled FVP or “Furloughee Value Proposition” and there were zero results.

I thought, “that’s unprecedented”… and then cracked on and wrote the blog… it’s still the only hit on google for that search even now (you can read it here.)

The fact that my blog would create an unprecedented piece of content, when I had set out to share my idea in order to help other business leaders, is where the name for the channel was born. 

Once I’d got the word in my head, I then started recognising everyone using it. And once I’d recognised that, I then started counting how many times the word was used… the word unprecedented was (and still is) being used unprecedentedly!

Why am I passionate about it?

I have a passion for helping other people. I’ve been that way since childhood. I love connecting people with one other and with resources that they can use to make their lives better and/or easier.

Unprecedented Leadership, as a project, has really ignited the fire in my belly as I also love learning.

I feel that by leading on something like this that I will learn how to be a better leader myself whilst at the same time sharing my own thoughts and ideas to help others.

It’s a project where everyone wins, there’s a lot to be passionate about as a result!

Why is the content so important?

I have said many times since March 2020 that this is a period in time that our kids, great grandkids and great great grandkids will study at school in the years to come.

For us not to write up our experiences as Business Leaders would be criminal wouldn’t it?

I am incredibly passionate about sharing my/our lessons of the pandemic with the Leaders of the Future with the intention of one day helping them to navigate through their own version of 2020… whatever challenges they might face… there’s not much that doesn’t now have a precedent for it.

When will Unprecedented go-live?

We already have blogs submitted but the first day of filming has had to be postponed for obvious reasons.

Once lockdown 3.0 is eased, we aim to have one day in the studio every two weeks to film interviews and I am delighted to say that we already have a waiting list

How will people use Unprecedented in 25 years time?

Who knows! But, at least by doing this, by getting started, we know that Business Leaders will have somewhere to turn to for advice and tips from our experiences in 2020 and all that we have achieved this year.

Why would people want to get involved?

It has already appealed to lots of fellow business leaders. The main and most obvious benefits to someone investing their time to write up their experiences into a blog are: 

  • contributing content now will help others in the future to make decisions and to navigate through turbulent times. The pandemic has created so many challenges, sharing experiences about how decisions were made will be so beneficial to the next generation of Business Leaders.
  • your blog can be used on all social channels to promote the employer brand of their organisation. If nothing else, COVID has meant that many human beings have helped one another, showing care and compassion to people we may not have done previously. Show that your business cares and it will help you to attract and retain great talent. 
  • by using your blog to promote your own personal leadership brand. Leadership can act as a talent magnet. By promoting yourself and your personal brand people, including customers, will be drawn to you.

For more information about this project, or to register your interest in writing a blog to be included on the website, please visit the contact us section of the Unprecedented website by clicking here