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G20 Summit - Sherpas

The G20 Summit is one of the most significant gatherings of world leaders, where representatives from the world's major economies come together to discuss and address global challenges. With its inception in 1999, the G20 has played a pivotal role in shaping international economic policies and promoting cooperation among nations.

However, behind the scenes, there are key players who work tirelessly to ensure the success of this influential event - the Sherpas. Let's explore anecdotes of Sherpa's role and the key takeaways for CSMs. 

The role of Sherpas in the G20 Summit

Highly Skilled Individuals

While the term "Sherpa" may be commonly associated with the mountain climbers of the Himalayas, in the context of the G20 Summit, it refers to highly skilled individuals who work as personal representatives of the leaders participating in the summit.


These Sherpas act as intermediaries between their respective leaders and the summit proceedings, preparing the groundwork and negotiating on their behalf.

Diplomats, Economists, or Senior Government Officials

Sherpas are often experienced diplomats, economists, or senior government officials who possess deep knowledge of international relations, economic policies, and political dynamics. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the interests and priorities of their leaders are well-represented during the summit.

Policy Negotiators

They engage in extensive consultations and negotiations with other Sherpas to shape the agenda, draft communiqués, and find consensus on various issues.

The selection process for G20 Sherpas

The selection process for G20 Sherpas is rigorous and carefully conducted. Each participating country appoints its Sherpa based on their expertise and experience in international affairs.

The selection criteria vary from country to country, but in general, Sherpas are chosen for their diplomatic skills, knowledge of economic policies, and ability to advocate for their leader's interests effectively.

The appointment of a Sherpa is a significant decision, as they will be the key representatives of their country throughout the summit. Selecting a Sherpa with the necessary expertise, diplomatic finesse, and the ability to work under pressure is essential.

The selection process also takes into account the Sherpa's track record in international negotiations and their understanding of global issues.

Responsibilities and tasks of G20 Sherpas

G20 Sherpas shoulder numerous responsibilities and tasks to ensure the smooth functioning of the summit.

Lead their Country's delegation

They are responsible for coordinating and leading their country's delegation, including experts from various fields. Sherpas engage in extensive research and analysis to provide their leaders with comprehensive briefings on the key topics and challenges to be discussed during the summit.

Intense Negotiations and Consultations

During the summit, Sherpas engage in intense negotiations and consultations with their counterparts to find common ground on various issues. They work tirelessly to bridge gaps, build consensus, and draft agreements that reflect the interests and priorities of their leaders.

Own the Channel of Communication and Keep it Open

Sherpas also play a crucial role in maintaining open channels of communication between leaders throughout the summit, facilitating dialogue and resolving potential conflicts.

The impact of G20 Sherpas on the Summit's success

The role of G20 Sherpas in the summit's success cannot be overstated.

The backbone of the Entire Process

They served as the backbone of the entire process, ensuring that the summit runs smoothly and that key agreements are reached. Without their expertise, diplomatic skills, and tireless dedication, the G20 Summit could not achieve its objectives effectively.

Driving the Consensus

G20 Sherpas bring together diverse perspectives, find common ground, and drive consensus on pressing global issues.

Spearheading the Engagement

Their ability to build relationships, foster dialogue, and facilitate negotiations among leaders is essential for the success of the summit.

Ensuring all the Parties are Heard Equally 

They play a crucial role in shaping the agenda, drafting agreements, and ensuring that the interests of all participating countries are taken into account.

Key takeaways for CSMs from G20 Sherpas

Building strategic partnerships and alliances

One of the key takeaways for CSMs from G20 Sherpas is the importance of building strategic partnerships and alliances. Just as Sherpas work together with other representatives to achieve common goals, CSMs should actively seek opportunities to collaborate with other departments within their organization, as well as with external stakeholders. By forging strong alliances, CSMs can leverage resources, knowledge, and expertise to provide even greater value to their customers.

Fostering collaboration and communication

Effective collaboration and communication are vital for the success of any endeavor, whether it's a G20 Summit or a customer success initiative. CSMs can learn from Sherpas in this aspect by recognizing the power of open and transparent communication. By fostering a culture of collaboration within their teams and with their clients, CSMs can ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives. Regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and proactive communication channels are essential tools for CSMs to foster collaboration and strengthen relationships with their customers.

Navigating complex challenges and negotiations

The G20 Summit is a platform where complex challenges and negotiations take place. Sherpas are skilled in navigating these complexities and finding common ground among diverse perspectives. Similarly, CSMs often face challenging situations when dealing with customers. They need to be adept at understanding their customers' needs, managing expectations, and finding mutually beneficial solutions. By adopting a diplomatic approach and being proactive in resolving conflicts, CSMs can navigate these challenges and build trust with their customers.

Leveraging technology and innovation

G20 Sherpas recognize the role of technology and innovation in driving economic growth and development. CSMs can take inspiration from this and leverage technology to enhance customer success. By staying updated with the latest advancements in their industry and utilizing innovative tools, CSMs can provide personalized and efficient solutions to their customers. Automation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence are just a few examples of how technology can be harnessed to optimize the customer success journey.

Enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty

At the heart of every customer success strategy lies the goal of enhancing customer satisfaction and fostering long-term loyalty. G20 Sherpas understand the importance of building trust and goodwill among nations. In the same way, CSMs should prioritize building strong relationships with their customers, understanding their unique needs, and going above and beyond to exceed expectations. By consistently delivering value and demonstrating genuine care, CSMs can create a loyal customer base that advocates for their company.

Implementing lessons learned in customer success strategies

Lastly, CSMs can apply the lessons learned from the G20 Sherpas to their customer success strategies. The G20 Summit is a platform for knowledge exchange, where leaders share best practices and learn from each other's experiences. CSMs should adopt a similar mindset and continuously seek opportunities to learn and grow. By staying updated with industry trends, attending conferences, and engaging in professional development, CSMs can implement new strategies and approaches to drive success in customer management.

In conclusion, the G20 Sherpas provide valuable insights and lessons for Customer Success Managers. By building strategic partnerships, fostering collaboration, navigating challenges, leveraging technology, enhancing customer satisfaction, and implementing lessons learned,

CSMs can master the art of success in customer management. Just as Sherpas play a crucial role in the success of the G20 Summit, CSMs are instrumental in ensuring the success and satisfaction of their customers.

6 minutes