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Deloitte U.S. CEO on the past year’s business challenges and what’s ahead in 2022

December 15, 2021, 11:45 PM UTC
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Leadership Next’s 2021 year in review.

It’s been, to put it mildly, quite a year. From change driven by the pandemic’s trajectory and social movements, to businesses finally getting serious about climate change, and so much more, 2021 was all about upheaval. Throughout the year, Fortune’s Ellen McGirt and Alan Murray, cohosts of the Leadership Next podcast, welcomed CEOs and other big names in business to discuss those changes.

Time and again, leaders made it clear that this year was one of the most challenging on record. But the show’s guests rose to those challenges and were often quite hopeful about the future. And when things went wrong, they opened up about the issues they faced and the solutions they implemented.

On this week’s episode of Leadership Next, McGirt and Murray spoke to Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO of Deloitte U.S., about the business trends he’s seeing and how they’ll inform 2022. The trio also reflected back on the year, lessons they learned from the show’s guests, and much more.

“Many came into the year thinking that 2020 was the unprecedented year and things would calm down,” Ucuzoglu said. “Yet you could argue there have actually been more twists and turns [in 2021]. The pandemic is by no means behind us, yet, in spite of all of that, we’ve got a reasonably strong economic recovery underway. We have remarkable tools at our disposal to manage the ongoing pandemic. All of that leaves me relatively bullish.

“But,” he added, “the twists and turns are simply the new normal. There is no returning to a calmer period on the horizon.”

Also on the show, McGirt, Murray, and Ucuzoglu discussed how the pandemic has cast a light on the challenges women in the workforce face, the health and safety of workers who can’t work from home, the future of office spaces, and much more. Listen to the full episode below.

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