2021 Annual CEO Letter
Updated: Jan 11
Welcome to 2022!
We are at the dawn of a new year rich with potential and opportunity. To be a CEO and leader is an optimistic pursuit and ultimately focused on potential. In order to accept the mantle of leadership, the leader must believe they can make a difference in realizing that potential.
Many of us have now seen the joking, yet intentionally disquieting, meme that 2022 is pronounced “2020…too”. Because on a global scale we have had difficult times, the meme touches a nerve. The pictures associated with the meme are definitely funny. But, so many people have endured hardships over the last two years that the idea of re-living 2020 should be enough to send shivers down our collective spine.
It is little more than an intellectual exercise to think about what we would do if we had to live 2020 over again. If we had to redo any given year, I am certain we could do it better the second time around. As we know though, the one true constant is change – of course, 2022 will bring its own new challenges…and opportunities!
When I consider the lessons to take into 2022, more than ever before, I feel AFN’s community is better equipped to find the opportunity in change.
In our first official year, AFN was fortunate to host 115 roundtables and increase our community to include thousands of CEOs from more than 120 countries. This diversity of experience, expertise, and perspective helped members of our community build new relationships, tackle difficult challenges, and create new opportunities.
Our member Hub Groups have succeeded in becoming a cornerstone of support and new ideas for our members. We have seen our Hub Groups effectively tackle a wide range of topics from building a consistent culture globally to driving a sales organization to better perform. Our Topical Roundtables have increased the collective knowledge of our community around individual thought leadership, entering new markets, and realizing a competitive edge, amongst many other areas. Importantly, AFN is actively connecting our community members to one another to foster new opportunities. Finally, we had the chance to learn about and celebrate five exceptional CEOs who are the model of perseverance and innovation with our inaugural CEO Awards.
The lessons we learn become available to the community and we are truly excited for how we will carry this forward in the year to come. Our offering of topical roundtables and relevant content is growing substantially to better share the information meaningful to the success of you and your business. We will be enhancing our interest groups to allow CEOs in specific industries and affinity groups to network directly with one another. Best of all, as AFN’s network grows, we are incorporating new technology to allow you to better understand your own network and connect you with the right people.
Onward and Upward!