How do CEOs develop the skills they need to lead in a changing world?
To answer that question, we partnered with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford to speak to more than 150 CEOs representing a wide range of sectors around the world. Assured of their anonymity, the executives reflected openly on their leadership challenges and experiences. Taken together, the interviews underscore the ways in which the role of CEO is changing, and point to the capabilities that will enable today’s leaders—and tomorrow’s—to prepare for, and thrive in, a business environment marked by uncertainty and change.
Among the findings: Anticipating how, when, and why different contexts may interact to disrupt an organization requires leaders to develop “ripple intelligence,” as well as the ability to harness doubt more effectively in order to improve decision making. Moreover, as business conditions change, CEOs must learn to balance authenticity and adaptability in order to motivate their organizations to action without squandering the trust they have worked so hard to build.
About the research: The findings in “The CEO Report: Embracing the Paradoxes of Leadership and the Power of Doubt” are based on rich, individual conversations with more than 150 global CEOs, making it one of the most comprehensive, in-depth studies of how global CEOs lead. Each interview lasted an average of 55 minutes and, with few exceptions, was conducted face-to-face. All interviews were anonymized prior to analysis by researchers at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.