The Next Leader is The Renaissance Leader

We are hearing it all across the globe — It’s time to reset, reflect, rethink, reboot, rebuild, redesign, rethink, reinvent, recreate.  There is a lot of “re” we have to do and if you know me, you know I love words.  So of course I had to look up the formal definition of the prefix “re-.”

Re– a prefix, from Latin, with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion.

What an interesting dichotomy. We are using “re” words to describe what we need to do to move forward yet the words themselves are about going back.

It’s human nature to want to go back to how things were, to crave the life we had that felt familiar. If you find yourself starting or ending your sentences with “When this is over”, I challenge you to think again.

“When this is over,” says there is an end date.  A time we can go back to what life was like before. The other day I found myself saying, “When this pandemic over, I look forward to going back to Italy.” But, Italy and every country for that matter will not be the place it was. It will be different. I believe it will be stronger and even more beautiful to experience.

It will be new.  And it will take time.

Whether we crave for what was or wish to rewind and go back, there is no “going back”.  If we keep thinking “when this is over” as a place to get to, we miss out on one of the most powerful opportunities that lay in front of us today:

The opportunity to create a new future NOW. We are in a time of rebirth.

We are in an age of constant disruption. Life as we know it is forever changed. But instead of going back, we have an opportunity to learn from the past and birth something new. We have an opportunity to create a new way of working, a new way of being, and a new way of leading our government, our workplace our community, and our home.

As we look back in history (because we humans like to look back) the Renaissance was also a time of rebirth. It was a rebirth of humanity; a time of invention and innovation.

Leaders of that time disrupted the status quo and thought outside the “medieval box”. Leonardo Da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance leader had a diverse set of skills & talents across multiple disciplines.  He was not a “Jack of all Trades”.  He was a “Master of Many” who was revered for all that he brought to the Renaissance period…and to the world.

During the Renaissance, Lorenzo de Medici, a prominent banker, brought together scientists, engineers, philosophers, artists, politicians, architects, and artists to solve the greatest challenges of the time.  He could have hung out with other bankers of his kind, but he knew that drawing from a diverse group of people would create richer and better outcomes for all.

The leaders of the Renaissance shifted reality. They changed the world.

We are now in a New Renaissance.

Our existing operating systems and ways of being are no longer working. We have reached a tipping point where knowledge is no longer power.  The good, the bad, and ugly are being shown. The veil is now lifted.  And, there is no going back. What got us here is not going to get us out.

These times demand a new way of leading. 

These times call for Renaissance Leaders. What is a Renaissance Leader?

Renaissance Leaders are open-minded, self-aware, and willing to unlearn.
Renaissance Leaders bring together diverse opinions to tackle tough challenges.
Renaissance Leaders trust their people and value their unique gifts and talents.
Renaissance Leaders collaborate instead of command and control.

A Renaissance Leader values people first, before profits.
A Renaissance Leader asks the questions no one is asking and uncovers the truth.
A Renaissance Leader values innovation overspecialization.
A Renaissance Leader acts with accountability and respects instead of controls.
A Renaissance Leader magnifies the impact of ideas by sharing them with others.

In order to shift our reality, we must transcend our current way of leading.

We must become Renaissance Leaders and create Renaissance Cultures that value self-awareness, curiosity, and open-mindedness over protecting, defending, controlling, and commanding.

In this age of constant disruption, adaptability, flexibility, and resilience are important, but the competitive advantage is how quickly you can embrace the new; how quickly you can rebirth.

We have prepared perfectly for a world that no longer exists. The environment and circumstances are now forcing us to change. 

The Next Renaissance belongs to leaders who are willing to ask, honor, collaborate, act, and magnify.

The choice is yours. Will you be left in the dark ages or will you be the next Renaissance Leader?

If you want to learn more about how to become a Renaissance Leader in your organization or create a Renaissance Culture, let’s talk. In the meantime, I invite you to join me on August 6th at the Evolve HR Virtual Conference where I’ll be speaking about Renaissance Leadership.

Isn’t it time to step into the Next Renaissance?


Jean Marie DiGiovanna
Jean Marie DiGiovanna
Jean Marie DiGiovanna is an international keynote speaker, leadership trainer, and certified executive coach with over 25 years of experience inspiring leaders and their teams to expand their perspective and shift their thinking. She is a disruptor, a change catalyst, and an innovation maven who helps leaders and their teams ask new questions and by making new connections others don’t think to make. As a result, her clients uncover hidden talent and unlock new ideas among their teams and across departments allowing them to excel beyond what they thought was possible. She has an insatiable appetite for learning, a keen sense of curiosity, and a natural gift for honoring uniqueness in others so they bring all of who they are to what they do. No talent is left behind. She brings her body of work on Renaissance Leadership helping leaders inspire leaders and helping organizations foster a culture of curiosity, authenticity, and innovation. She brings the heart and soul back into business and the “being” back into human. She is the co-author of "Success is a State of Mind", author of "Wake Up To Your Life: Monthly Workouts for the Mind, Heart & Soul" and author of her recent Amazon best-seller, “Stop Talking Start Asking: 27 Questions to Shift the Culture of Your Organization.” In true Renaissance Spirit, when Jean Marie isn’t working, she is busy working in her art studio, skiing fast, or dancing to live Latin music. To learn more about her experiential keynote speeches and how her high-impact in-person and virtual leadership development programs could benefit your organization, visit her website at

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. Aldo, thank you for such a thoughtful and powerful response. All the qualities you mention are so critical and also challenging in these times for one person to hold. That’s why compassion is so important as well. We have to be gentle on ourselves as so much is unknown and we are working day-to-day doing the best we can. Your response is something all leaders can and should aspire to. I appreciate your wisdom and view.

  2. Shareable perspective.
    As I have already written, I think that the leader of the time of the coronavirus is, first of all, a resilient leader, who takes care of his collaborators, also involved in their personal and family matters. Provides exhaustive and transparent communications, which authentically manifest gratitude towards every action, every idea, every feedback, even if negative. That creates a climate in which one trusts each other, recognizing the specialist skills of each one, welcoming feedback as an opportunity for improvement, measures what happens, in a meticulous way and redirects sharing decisions based on facts.
    But he is also a leader who maintains a high sense of humor: making fun of himself, accepting mistakes, joking about pressure, exorcising the fear of contagion, means creating teams in which people, although physically tired and in some cases seriously worried, they manage to give their best with a great sense of responsibility.
    This is what needs to be done due to the need for reaction, speed, sense of urgency and responsibility.
    I believe that this could apply to any leader, entrepreneur or politician.
    Coronavirus is a tragedy for humanity. And it is also the most serious economic crisis since the post-war period.
    Your article offers food for thought and perspectives to interpret the present and face crucial choices that look to the future, in defense of companies and their workers.