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Pushing forward through uncertainty: a Canadian leadership perspective

The pandemic has been a great equalizer for both marketing and media leaders. It has created a cauldron that forced leaders to adapt, communicate in new ways, empathize, anticipate, and ultimately, test their resilience.

When we were first approached by the Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) to partner on research that would offer insight into the challenges and opportunities facing Canadian media and marketing leaders today, a global pandemic certainly hadn’t been on our radar. With the support of Canadian research firm RKI, we made our first of many pivots as we decided to pause the fielding of the survey until many months into the pandemic. As we revisited the questions we originally wanted to probe, we saw clearly that insight amidst the uncertainty was needed, now more than ever. While there may not be a roadmap to navigate through these uncertain times, the 2021 Leadership Report offers benchmarks into the key themes and insights that are at the forefront.

“The survey results are a fascinating window into leadership during a crisis. Media leaders needed to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and navigate a new world overnight, and this survey draws on the lessons learned in that process” says Shannon Lewis, President of CMDC. “How they led their firms through this crisis, how workplaces adapted and will continue to shift going forward, and how media agencies will continue to thrive through immense change are lessons any business can learn from.”

The survey asked over 200 C-Suite and senior marketing and media leaders questions across five key areas: leadership traits Canadian business executives believe are most critical to the future; the future of work; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); the 2021 commercial media outlook; and trust and partnerships.

“The last year has tested the resiliency of both the media industry and its senior leaders but it has always provided many opportunities for personal growth and development,” said Andrew Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, The Globe and Mail. “The importance of trust and deep partnership are more critical today than ever before, and embracing diversity and inclusion is the foundation for growth and success. It’s clear from the survey that Canadian leaders are acknowledging and committing to driving sustainable change.”

To download the full report, visit the CMDC site.

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