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On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the oath of office and become the 46th President and Vice President of the United States. The national mood against which they will assume their leadership roles needs no further commentary.

The world is yearning for integrity and purpose-led leadership. All eyes will be focused not just on the US President and Vice President’s agenda to unite the country, but on their ability to tackle social responsibility, sustainability and unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic issues, while returning the country to economic prosperity and maintaining peace.

And yet, trust in leadership and in the integrity and truthfulness of its leaders has plummeted. The just-released 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reports business has taken over government and media as the most respected source for truthful information. Moreover, CEOs are being held accountable by their employees and stakeholders to lead with purpose, equity and consideration of people and planet.

As someone who proudly became a US citizen at the age of 12, I was fortunate to grow-up looking through rose-colored glasses filled with the potential of America and its opportunities. As a business leader and now a global CEO of a newly stand-alone company, our 6,000 plus employees, more than 500K customers and millions of consumers worldwide expect that the decisions my team and I make are grounded in what is best for our customers, consumers, employees and more broadly the communities where we operate – and importantly our planet.

Guiding with the truth and integrity, exhibiting the courage to respect, inform and align disparate views to reach common goals and share success is what great leadership is and must continue to stand for. It is through these actions we can rebuild an America where everyone can thrive.

As we watch President Biden and Vice President Harris take the oath to serve and protect, let all of us as leaders of businesses, institutions, NGOs, governments and communities pledge to those we are proud and humbled to serve – to step up and into this moment. Never has it been more vital.


Annie Young-Scrivner is the Chief Executive Officer of Wella Company, a global leader in the $100 billion beauty industry.