How to kick off 2022 successfully

Why your old approach of project leadership needs an update

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash


The wish to meet somewhere outside the usual office setting is common (hint: stick to pandemic regulations — always!). The location choice is crucial as it sets the tone for the event, communicates the importance of the upcoming tasks, and (hopefully) offers space for networking and social connections. Another thought crosses the executives’ minds: save money by making people come to the event outside of working hours. Let’s think of one question: when you ask your employees what they prefer to do in their spare time, where do you think “off-site corporate kick-off event including long travel time” ranks? Exactly.


Please refrain from making the event a show about the people who have their voice heard all the time: leaders. The upcoming tasks and projects involve everyone from the board of directors to the operational staff. Make voices heard which have not been heard before. Allow people to raise concerns and criticise. Do not deliver polished or rehearsed presentations as people leave the room (physically or mentally) once they know you only deliver a memorised speech that someone else wrote for you. It makes you look like a “parrot speaker” who repeats words they do not even understand.


When planning your event, leave enough room for flexibility. Especially discussion rounds can quickly go longer than planned but add the highest value to the whole meeting.



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Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.