Our new series, “CEOs: Architects of Prosperity,” has been created to highlight the expanding expectations for CEOs across a wide range of issues affecting all aspects of “people, profit, and planet.” Increasingly, businesses are being seen as uniquely positioned to be a force for good, to help transform society while producing results. As such, the definition of performance is evolving to mean prosperity for the many.
CEOs are being called upon to step up as the architects of this new era. It is a massive and often daunting journey they now find themselves on. Leading through the COVID pandemic only propelled the vision further by accentuating the weight of CEO leadership, magnifying our shared humanity, and providing a moment of acceleration to drive organizational change.
It’s about an expansion of consciousness for the team and the firm, an enlargement of our vision and imagination—and, ultimately, an inclusiveness that spans society at large.Daniel, “CEOs: Architects of Prosperity”
There is no question that CEOs have a real opportunity to make an impact on the changing landscape of business and the evolving world. To come into the necessary leadership mindset and practices to get there, the great majority of CEOs are acutely aware that they must keep transforming themselves. They need to keep adapting in their roles and fuel the momentum of that growth into realizing their leadership visions for their organizations. At many turns over the past few years, CEOs have told us they are on this dual journey—of professional and personal reflection and development as well as leading and motivating their teams along the same course.
But how to do this can be elusive. We have had the immense privilege of watching and working with many great CEOs who have embarked on these noble challenges. Six of their stories are presented here as examples of striving “architects” from whom other leaders can glean inspiration and insight. Their stories are as unique and complex as they and their companies are, and they are replete with instances of failed choices as well as successful ones, because the path to progress is so often paved in this manner. Across these distinctions, each CEO’s journey shares the need to cultivate and hone a clear and interdependent set of essential qualities for leadership success.
In his new book, The Heart of Business, Hubert Joly, the former CEO of Best Buy, writes that there is an evolving and “necessary refoundation of business around purpose and humanity,” which is dependent upon unleashing the “human magic” of leaders. We offer you here several brilliant examples of CEOs who have done the arduous work to arrive there by creating the necessary changes and transformations in themselves and their organizations. In so doing, they leave a truly instructive map of ways and means for their peers to follow and enhance.