Throughout the year of 2019 we saw dramatic changes politically, creatively, socially, and environmentally that have altered the path to the future. It is the many ups and downs that will ultimately change the way we think and act moving forward.
1. “Nothing is Permanent”
On December 18, 2019, US President Donald Trump became the third US president to be impeached. Trump’s unethical relations with the Ukraine, amongst other convictions, have given people reason to believe he is not an ideal leader for the US. After several allegations towards Trump in 2019, it is important to realize that being in a leadership role does not necessarily make one a leader. As the president of the US, Trump is supposed to lead his country and set a positive example for other countries; however, his actions do not demonstrate characteristics of a leader. His impeachment has also come as a reminder that one can never stop working on bettering themselves and becoming a more effective leader.
At the time of Trump’s election, he won the majority of the votes by persuading Americans that he was the leader the country needed. However, as the years progressed and Trump became less focused on being the leader the country needed, he began to lose support.
2. “Never too Late to Change Your Ways”
On September 23, 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a speech at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, responding to world leaders on the severity of the climate change issues our world is facing. Clips of the speech were instantly spread across social media platforms, raising awareness of the issue.
At only 17 years old, Greta had proven to be a leader that many aspire to be. Despite receiving criticism from politicians who believe climate change is a hoax, her unwavering belief in her cause encouraged her to do everything in her power to make a difference, even if others didn’t follow. Greta demonstrates the critical leadership quality of leading by example.
During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on November 1st, Greta explained the changes she has made in her everyday life to combat climate change; for instance, she now refuses to fly, has gone vegan, and only buys new things when absolutely necessary. Being a leader is about having a vision, inspiring others to believe in your vision, and developing a plan to achieve it. Greta wanted to inspire a global movement and it is through her protests and motivational speeches that she has done so. She is truly passionate about what she is advocating for and passion is contagious. She has ignited a spark in people all over the world who are now sharing the same passion and are inspired to fuel change.
3. “Never Too Young”
As of March 2019, Kylie Jenner became the world’s youngest billionaire at the age of 21. Having been born into an extremely wealthy family, Kylie did not need to start a cosmetic empire. Many young adults in her position would have relied on her families’ riches. Instead of relying on her inherited fortune, Kylie had the motivation and determination to prove her independence. She understood the position she was born into and decided to use her status to her advantage. She connected her passion to her fame to create a market dominating brand, “Kylie Cosmetics”.
As a young female, she offers a different perspective to the makeup and skincare industry by connecting to a younger demographic and creating products geared to help develop confidence through self-expression. For example, Kylie’s original products were predominantly lipstick sets and the idea stemmed from her own insecurity of her lip size.
Kylie Jenner demonstrates the importance of challenging what's expected of you and working to make your ideas into a reality. She also reinforces that no matter your age, with drive and determination, the sky's the limit.
4. “See Change as an Opportunity- Not a Threat”
Throughout 2019, Disney has become a dominating leader in terms of innovation. Within the year, having released updated versions of Disney classics such as Toy Story, Aladdin, and the Lion King, proving that change can be refreshing. The recreation of Disney classics came from the company’s ability to adapt, proving that to remain competitive one must be willing to change to meet new demands (socially, technologically, creatively).
Updating Disney classics posed a risk for the business as many people were deeply invested in the original films; however, Disney accepted the challenge and found tremendous success. If they avoided the risk associated with these projects they would have never realized their potential for growth.
Disney continued to make waves in the world of entertainment when, on November 12th, they released Disney+. This platform offers all of Disney’s most treasured TV shows and films all in one location. Competing with a developed company like Netflix could have spelled disaster for Disney, with the chance that consumers might not be receptive to a new streaming service. However, Disney saw this market as an opportunity for innovation, rather than a threat, and are now prospering as a result of their willingness to push the boundaries.