A new year message from Ann Francke OBE: Let’s be more Taylor Swift in 2024

Friday 05 January 2024
As we enter a new year, here's why Taylor Swift provides lessons for managers and leaders everywhere to follow
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Dear all,

I'm struck by just how positive and phenomenal the whole Taylor Swift effect is, and I think there are lessons in this for managers and leaders everywhere.

First, we need to recognise her talent. This is a once-in-a-generation artist, an incredible songwriter, spoken in the same breath as Bob Dylan. Harvard University is now even offering a “Taylor Swift and Her World” class!

Then there’s the scale of her achievement. Her Eras tour is the highest-grossing ever, with 150-plus shows on five continents. In the US the tour will have somewhere around $5bn in economic impact. Leaders desperately want her to come and perform in their city, country or region, just for the economic boost. No wonder she’s Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

What’s great about Taylor Swift is that her message is so positive. At a time of polarisation and intolerance, she wants people to come together and celebrate the good times. She’s the opposite to the patriarchal power that leads to conflict. In contrast to shrillness and vitriol, her performances are joyous and inclusive. It’s okay to be silly and have fun and exchange friendship bracelets. And she appeals to everyone. People who feel overlooked in their own lives feel strong and empowered by being part of her Swiftie fanbase. She has also shared her success with the team she employs, giving over $50 million in bonuses to her tour entourage.

Her own story is inspirational too. She’s been to some dark places and bounced back. She’s lived her life in the public eye but is still relatable.

The news and public debate has been very grim in the past few years. I think that anyone who brings lightness, humanity and is a unifier should be celebrated.

So go on, try it out, build on this phenomenon yourself, live your best life, be a little bit more Taylor Swift in 2024.

May I wish all the CMI community a very happy new year!

With all good wishes,

Ann Francke OBE

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