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“Hubris syndrome” is what Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of The B Team, has identified as a “cancer” in today’s global leadership. It is the belief the leader instills in themselves that they have all the answers. The reality is that an individual does not encompass all of the vision, expertise, and creativity to most productively addressing the complex issues that are facing our interconnected world of business, government, and change.


In this candid TED talk, Tómasdóttir shares with journalist Bryn Freedman, what she believes to be the answer to “crisis conformity,” which has led to an increasing lack of faith in leadership. “It’s a crisis of conformity when we continue to do business and lead in the way we always have, yet the evidence is overwhelming that the world needs us to change our ways.”

Here are a few of the most poignant takeaways from Tómasdóttir:

  1. Today’s leaders must be purpose-driven in solving “imminent crisis” with an altruistic value set of sustainability, equality, and accountability.
  2. Infusing equality in representation will help improve group problem-solving, collaboration and effectiveness.
  3. The bold thinking required to effect true positive change must be reflected across all groups from government and business leadership to individual citizens.

“There’s a leader inside every single one of us, and our most important work in life is to release that leader,” says Tómasdóttir