Dec 16 , 2020
Brave Leadership in the Space Age | Our Top 5 leaders to follow in 2021 +

When it comes to the future of work, our entire universe has shifted. As a force-for-good change consultancy, this is fantastic news as the world embraces democratised learning and technology and new models of power as we say our final goodbyes to the institutional nature of the Information Age. And bring in new models of work, technology and power dynamics in 2021. For us at Earth2Mars, the entire conversation about leadership is no longer about egos, agendas, qualifications, and experience for our clients, but rather what planet earth needs right now to solve some of the biggest challenges we have ever faced, professionally, personally and holistically as a species. And with millennials making up more of the workforce than any other generation, in fact 75%, the future of leadership is NOW.

Recently in the news the former Israeli Space Chief, Prof. Haim Eshed, at the age of 86,  publicly announce to the Jewish Press the confirmation of aliens and the existence of an intergalactic federation that some of world leaders are aware of. Despite being a very respected academic and leader, we are certainly taking this with a pinch of salt as his book launch for The Universe Beyond the Horizon – conversations with Professor Haim Eshed was immediately promoted off the back end of the polarising information. But it did allow us to have robust conversations with our coaching and change clients and got us thinking hypothetically:

If the universe did have an intergalactic federation, is our planet ready to participate and lead? And who would be likely candidates to best represent our Planet given our current challenges, needs and precarious survival in the future as a species?

Here are our top 5 leaders who we think are those to follow in 2021 + and who to emulate if you want to make a real difference for our planet and beyond:

1. Elon Musk – Entrepreneur CEO of SpaceX & Tesla

Why we love him?

Despite growing up in South Africa and experiencing severe bullying, Elon has broken the mould for what leadership looks like in this century. Rejecting all institutionalised learning and expectations, his passion for knowledge and continuous learning has allowed him to leave behind the Information Age and focus on creativity and life changing solutions that our planet needs right now. His relentless and authentic focus on the big picture, vision and mission, despite facing huge criticism and backlash from others (including his own mentors and heroes) makes him one of our top candidates who we can trust to lead innovation in 2021 and beyond.

What he has achieved recently for Planet Earth?

  • Renewable energy research and advocacy
  • Human space exploration research and advocacy
  • Paediatric research
  • Science and engineering education
  • Development of safe artificial intelligence to benefit humanity

How to emulate and model Elon in 2021 +?

  • Start with a compelling, force for good mission and vision and
  • Only work with those who are passionate and share the same purpose
  • Be a curious, continuous learner with a thirst for new knowledge and a passion to upgrade your skills. Real learning happens outside of university degrees and outdated certifications.
  • Hands-on leadership and design thinking that values the input of your leadership team and respects the feedback of the smart people you hire
  • Flat and transparent organisational communication that ignores hierarchies and values the shortest and most effective path to connecting
  • Ignore the haters and neigh-sayers. And if it is something worth doing, do it anyway and prove them wrong while having fun in the process
2. Jacinda Arden – Prime Minister of New Zealand

Why we love her?

Despite having what is seen as a typically traditional and conservative role as prime minister, Jacinda Arden is a breath of fresh air who personifies brave human and authentic leadership that’s much need in 202X and beyond. She brings her full and vulnerable self to the position, leading with both mind and heart as a strength which has captivated her followers on a world platform. She has proven to deeply care about people, taking a collaborative yet tough stance by putting her people’s welfare above her own and challenging many global leaders by being the example of what public service truly is.

What she has achieved recently for planet Earth?

  • Declared a climate emergency in a symbolic step to increase pressure for action to combat global warming
  • Breaking archaic unconscious bias by becoming the second female state leader to have a baby while still in office, challenged expectations to deliver, even brining her baby with  her to the UN general assembly
  • Eliminated COVID-19 in New Zealand 
  • Banned military-style semi-automatics less than a month after Christchurch shootings
  • She became the first NZ PM to march in an LGBTQ+ Pride event

How to emulate and model Jacinda in 2021 +?

  • Put people first in everything you do
  • Living and breathing a mindset of service above profit
  • Inclusive and collaborative listening and decision making
  • Be unapologetically yourself and see vulnerability as a strength
  • Make diversity a priority and real
  • Create a culture of psychological safety with your team
3. Pope Francis – Bishop of Rome

Why we love him?

Who says you need to be a millennial to lead and organisation into the future of humanity? Here is a man who despite working with and for one of the most archaic and traditional organisations on the planet, put the true values of Christianity at the centre of his leadership and challenged the status quo to help bring the global church into the inclusive modern age. His vision and passion for humanity has been a life-long dedication, well before becoming Pope officially. The backlash from the outgoing generation was a small price to pay to truly lead from a values-based mindset in a modern age.

What he has achieved recently for planet Earth?

  • Publicly opened the Church’s doors to the LGBT Community
  • Embraced interfaith dialogue
  • Increased accountability in sex abuse scandals
  • Denounced human trafficking
  • Tackled financial corruption in the Vatican Bank

How to emulate the Pope in 2021 +?

  • It’s never too late to make big, meaningful changes
  • Put your values above politics, power and commercial gain in everything you do
  • Completely ignore the notion of “well this is how we have always done things”
  • Visibly and actively work out what is important for your community
  • Abandon your ego and put the future survival of your community first
  • Embrace diversity and include all layers of your organisation and the people you serve in your decision making
4. Kamala “I’m speaking” Harris – US Vice President Elect

Why we love her?

US politics is not for the faint of heart these days. Yet Kamala Harris is fuelled with an unstoppable vision, energy and purpose. Refusing to be spoken over or intimidated by a very white, male dominated arena, Kamala has broken paradigms in the so called “old-boys” club and caused waves of exciting and positive changes. And best part of all, she remains smiling and completely neutral in the face of aggressive old power tactics and political rhetoric with an emotional intelligence that disarms even the hardest of resistors in their tracks. Kamala is the perfect mix of intelligence, conviction and credibility coupled with an uncompromising sense of justice and unapologetic smile in the face of adversity.

What she has achieved recently for planet Earth?

  • Made history as first woman and woman of colour as Vice President of United States
  • First Indian American to serve as a U.S. senator as well as the second African American woman
  • During the housing crisis, she won a historic mortgage settlement case that helped more than 84,000 California families
  • She’s come out against for-profit colleges
  • Her work with the LGBTQ community led to the SCOTUS decision in favour of marriage equality
  • She has experience prosecuting human trafficking — and is sharply critical of the war on drugs and introducing legislation supporting the use of medical and recreational cannabis

How to emulate Kamala in 2021 +?

  • Fight fire with water and adversity with calm emotional intelligence
  • Embrace your heritage and see your diversity as a super-power
  • Putting justice and fairness before political gain/power
  • Speaking out against crimes against humanity
  • Rejecting limiting or inherited beliefs about gender and race
  • Acceptance of other opinions while not tolerating others speaking over her own

Why we love her?

We love it when a leader turns a huge loss into a major opportunity for positive change in the world. Despite being dealt a devastating loss in her campaign to become governor or Georgia, she kept true to her life purpose and turned her passions and energy towards driving BIPOC.

to find their political voices and encouraging communities to get out, be heard and vote. True leaders know that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback and there are multiple channels and pathways to shine and lead others who have been marginalised by society into taking a stand and being heard.

What she has achieved recently for planet Earth?

  • New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, non-profit CEO and political leader
  • Launched Fair Fight to ensure every American has a voice in our election system
  • Democratic party’s nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, winning more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history
  • Became the first African American female major-party gubernatorial nominee in the United States
  • In February 2019, Abrams became the first African American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

How to emulate and model Stacey in 2021 +?

  • Embracing that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback and lessons
  • Having a higher purpose that transcends personal victory/achievements
  • Sharing ideas and thinking with the world
  • Fairness and transparency as an action, not just a nice to have
  • Focussing on inclusion and not on our differences
  • Speaking out against injustices of the past and being a change maker

Whether aliens do exist or not, perhaps the question still remains…is planet earth ready to play a bigger game when it comes to leadership? 

We are passionate about helping emerging leaders evolve into the future of work. And from our perspective, the future is looking incredibly brave and especially human(e)!


Keen to use our platform to share your inner leader voice with our community and networks?
Email us at space@earth2mars.com.au to find out more