Exploring Modern Leadership: Insights and Best Practices from Aimee Connolly, Brendan McGurgan and James McSporran

Go back to blog listing

The Engage People team had a fantastic time at the Leadership Summit, and it was an honour for us to partner with Chartered Accountants Ireland in this event. We had the pleasure of meeting several influential professionals, each offering invaluable insights and a wealth of knowledge to absorb and apply to our own leadership journeys.  

Through a series of engaging discussions, industry leaders and professionals came together to explore key challenges, emerging trends, and innovative solutions shaping the landscape of business leadership.  

As we reflect on the summit, we are excited to share some of the key takeaways and highlights from the event. Let’s delve into what the keynote speakers taught us.

Multi-generational Leadership with James McSporran

James McSporran's session on multi-generational leadership highlighted the diverse traits and tendencies across the different generations of workers. Each cohort has their own unique qualities and strengths. Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) tend to be excellent at networking and growing businesses by connecting with others.  

Gen X (1965-1980), on the other hand, were the first generation of workers to challenge authority. They were also the first to experience a dual-income household and therefore tend to be more independent.  

Millennials (1981 – 1996) grew up exposed to world events such as 9/11 and the recession, developing fears and anxiety about the world before even entering the workforce. They are more likely to seek alternative employment or career paths if they are not fulfilled because they have witnessed how prevalent job dissatisfaction is among their Gen X counterparts.  

They are also more tech-savvy and are skilled at using media to connect with others.  

Similarly, Gen Z (1997-2009), the most recent entrants to the workforce, grew up with computers and digital media, and tend to care more about what's happening in the world. They value global perspectives and digital skills, but they also feel anxious about the future due to societal instability. 

Then there is Gen Alpha (2010 – 2024) whose behaviours will be influenced by AI and global events, further emphasising the need for cross-generational collaboration and supportive environments which promote personal growth, autonomy, and a sense of purpose. 

Evolving as a Leader with Brendan McGurgan 

Brendan McGurgan advocates for the transformative power of effective leadership, highlighting the need for leaders to continuously challenge themselves and create environments where everyone can thrive and succeed. 

During his segment, Brendan addressed the importance of ambition and self-awareness in leading successful organisations. Leaders must challenge their limited beliefs and understand themselves well to drive their organisations forward. Language plays a pivotal role in this, with a shift towards positivity and accountability essential for overcoming excuses and fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.  

As a leader, surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who share a broader vision can catalyse personal and professional growth. Embracing a growth mindset and prioritising the well-being and development of team members can help leaders drive their organisations towards greater achievements.

Entrepreneurship with Aimee Connolly 

In her segment about entrepreneurship, Aimee Connolly explains how starting your own business can be exciting but also full of surprises. Aimee’s advice to those thinking about starting a business it that it's crucial to stay positive and keep learning from your experiences, even when things get tough. No matter how much you prepare, you can't be fully ready for everything that comes your way and therefore it is very important to continuously look back on what you've learned.  

Success in entrepreneurship hinges on strength, adaptability, and an openness to new ideas. Maintaining a positive mindset and a hunger for learning are non-negotiables, especially during challenging times. Being able to adapt and seek support from your network becomes instrumental in overcoming obstacles along the way. Additionally, resilience has been a steadfast companion on Aimee’s journey, reminding us of the importance of embracing change and continuously evolving. Reflecting on pivotal moments has offered Aimee profound insights where every setback is an opportunity for growth and success. 


The Leadership Summit provided a platform for leaders and industry professionals to exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices for navigating the complexities of modern leadership. It was truly an enriching and enlightening experience from which we learned so much. Engaging with these influential professionals and absorbing their invaluable insights has broadened our understanding of contemporary leadership challenges and we are confident in our ability to drive positive change and lead our clients towards greater organisational and career success. 

We are delighted to share with you the Engage People Leadership Handbook.  

The transition into a leadership role can be challenging.    

It involves a lot of ‘learning by doing’ and there’s often obstacles to overcome that nobody can warn you about.   

This guide is designed to prepare you for just that.    

Dive into the stories of 4 of Ireland's top finance as they share their experiences and lessons learned on the path to leadership. 

Download your guide here