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CEO Trends, Big Rocks, Song of the Year

December 3, 2021 Misti Aaronson

Changing of the Guard


CEOs, much like the workforce at large, put off quitting their jobs in the chaos of 2020. But in 2021, CEOs are just as much a part of the Great Resignation as their employees, according to this Heidrick & Struggles report.

  • In the first half of 2021, 76 CEOs were appointed at the 1,095 largest public companies spanning 14 countries. That’s a record for any six-month period since Heidrick started tracking in 2018. 
  • They are more likely to be women than their predecessors and are more likely to be from other countries other than where the company is headquartered.


The massive shakeup will likely continue and include more C-suite execs, government officials, and media figureheads in high-up positions – no evidence to support this, we’re just following the bouncing ball. 

These big moves happened in November alone:

  • CNN’s host Chris Cuomo indefinitely suspended following report on involvement in his brother’s sex scandal.
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, to be replaced by Parag Agrawal, the former CFO. According to Dorsey - it was just time. You can read his letter to his employees here
  • Brett Biggs, CFO of Walmart, resigns in a surprising move as many believed he would be next in line to replace CEO Doug McMillon. 
  • Zhang Yiming, Chairman of Bytedance (owns TikTok), resigns as Beijing tightens grip.
  • Karen Fann, President of Arizona Senate, says she will retire and that the forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County didn’t contribute to her decision.
  • Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays, resigns after a probe into his ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The changing of the CEO guard can be a good thing and in some cases a really good thing.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." – John C. Maxwell


The Big Rocks


The word “priority” entered the English language, via Old French, sometime in the 14th century. Originally the word meant “the most important thing” – and did not have a plural version – which means you can only have one priority.

Whether you’re a C-suite exec or entry-level, what you focus on will determine the level of success and satisfaction in your life. 

The Big Rocks theory pioneered by Stephen Covey goes like this: 

Think of your time as a jar, which you can fill with a finite number of rocks, pebbles, and sand.

  • Big Rocks represent the stuff that’s most necessary to feel fulfilled in life. They include things like time with friends and family, health, earning a living, and getting enough sleep.
  • Pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to life, but not totally necessary like hobbies, excelling at work, working on “passion projects.”
  • Sand is made up of "bonus" activities that are not crucial to survival or fulfillment. Think watching tv, social media, video games, etc.

If you focus on the pebbles and sand (put them in the big jar first), you’ll never be able to fit the big rocks in. If you focus on what’s most important, i.e. the big rocks, everything fits.

Real-Life Example:

Each week we send out a video story through our survey and storytelling platform called Latch. The stories are different each week and based on what our team needs to hear, feel, or see. Story themes are often in response to the weekly pulse survey feedback captured in the Latch platform.

In honor of Thanksgiving and sharing gratitude, check out our teammate Catie Hargrove’s story. Catie reflects on her Big Rocks – her daughters – and how they reminded her to have fun even on days with back-to-back meeting madness.

HubSpot Video

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Top Work Song of 2021?


Take This Job and Shove It was written by David Allen Coe, who released his own version a year after Johnny Paycheck popularized his song in 1977. 

This could be the song of the year considering the mass exodus in corporate America...

Funny enough, the music world has been singing about work for decades! 

Remember any of these gems?

PS: We're Hiring!

As we grow our Latch platform, we’re growing our team. That means now is the time if you or someone in your network is interested in joining our team.

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TOPICS: Workplace Innovation, leadership, stories that shift