Leadership Lessons from the 80s with Chris Clews

Nov 28, 2021 | Gen X in the Workplace, Hot Mess Hotline Podcast

​Chris Clews, speaker and author, brings us the top leadership lessons from the 80s in this Hot Mess Hotline episode. Combining his marketing leadership experience and love of Gen X culture, he’s written a books series, “What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace.” He travels the country sharing what we can all learn from our childhood favorites: movies that play on Saturday afternoon reruns and music originally released on vinyl.

Chris originally got inspiration for this work while at home on a mental health day trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up. As he revisited Gen X childhood favorites and translated them into contemporary leadership lessons, he found how much they resonated with his peers.

From non-skinny jeans (thankyoujesus) to Doc Martens and Stranger Things, nostalgia for the 80s and 90s is alive and well. Listen in for these key insights and much more from our fun conversation.

  • There’s a danger in nostalgia and there’s opportunity in looking to history for lessons to learn from
  • Hair metal taught Gen Xers to appreciate the value of differences
  • If you have a formula for success, you may be over using it
  • Freedom allows for better problem solving skills
  • Digital connection takes away our creativity
  • The benefits of sitting next to someone while playing video games
  • The difference between rulers and leaders
  • Encouragement costs you nothing but can be worth everything
  • Unearned leadership earns pleasers
  • Why the 80s showed us how to believe in the power of nerds
  • Problem solvers don’t come in a one-size-fits-all package
  • Don’t wait your turn and don’t wait for permission to lead
  • Buzzword Bob is nothing but a buzz kill

If you received value from this episode, would you share this link with others?

Listen as a podcast!

You can find this video as a podcast wherever you love to listen!

Subscribe to the Hot Mess Hotline now and never miss another episode, including quick tips, webinars, and in-depth interviews with leaders who have landed in a hot mess (and how they overcame it).

Listen on Libysn
Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

As a director or mid-level leader, you need to know what's creating chaos and complexity in your team. Take the Hot Mess Quiz.

As a leader, you've felt paralyzed by where to start first with your team's and organization's problems. Do you need team building or a frank conversation? Like a Rubik's cube, one shift changes everything else, but may create more problems than it solves. Take this 3-minute quiz to find your next best step.

About Chris Clews

Chris Clews is a speaker and author of the book series “What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace.” Growing up in the 80s and with over 20 years of experience in corporate marketing he knew 2 things very well: 80s pop culture and business. So he combined the two and created “What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace”.

He’s spoken to a diverse set of organizations and companies including Visa, DHL, University of Florida, UPenn Medicine, WIFS (Women in Insurance and Financial Services), DisruptHR and more. He’s a frequent guest on podcasts with topics ranging from workplace culture to 80s pop culture and he has been referenced or interviewed in numerous publications such as Entrepreneur.com and Esquire UK magazine.

A graduate of Elon University in North Carolina, Chris has held marketing leadership positions in a variety of companies ranging from Planet Hollywood to DHL. He’s passionate about animal rescue and donates a portion of the proceeds from his book and speaking engagements to the SPCA International. He lives by the quote from the poet laureate Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Related Posts

The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style: When Your Leader Eats Last You’ll Never Know About It with David Fischer

The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style: When Your Leader Eats Last You’ll Never Know About It with David Fischer

David Fischer, chief revenue officer at Gregory & Appel Insurance, has always sought out challenges. As a marine, he learned the ultimate humble leadership style: leaders eat last. Throughout his career and he has worked hard to earn trust and deliver results. Hard work is rewarded with increasingly complex challenges, however. He learned that through a hot mess he encountered 2 weeks in to a new gig that required him to ask for help in a completely new way.

read more
What to Do When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off with Blair Milo

What to Do When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off with Blair Milo

Blair Milo, founding director at the Center for Talent and Opportunity, knows how to step up to a challenge. But she also knows that you can’t accomplish the impossible by yourself. In this episode, listen to Blair’s experience as a mayor and how she led a long-tenured team through transformative change. Innovation has a downside and she learned that here.

read more
5 Steps to Take After Being Fired with Emil Ekiyor

5 Steps to Take After Being Fired with Emil Ekiyor

Emil Ekiyor, CEO of Innopower, learned some tough lessons after being fired and before finding his purpose. In this episode, Emil describes his journey from doing the work he had trained and worked so hard for, being exposed to The Trap, and finding ways to creatively use all the strengths he had.

read more

Be the leader who is a goal achiever. Not just a goal setter.

Sign up here for Stefanie’s weekly change readiness tools: real ideas you can implement today so your growth begins now!

You have Successfully Subscribed!