What new leadership approaches are other CEOs embracing today?

Standing in the middle of societal and business tumult, it’s hard to have perspective on which new strategies to embrace.   

In its McKinsey Quarterly article, “The CEO moment: Leadership for a new era” McKinsey authors do a helpful job of highlighting four leadership shifts.  These echo goBeyondProfit’s view of building value by demonstrating generous leadership with employees and communities. 

The article defines the four “expedient and ingenious” shifts CEOs are making as:

  • “unlocking bolder (“10x”) aspirations,
  • elevating their “to be” list to the same level as “to do” in their operating models,
  • fully embracing stakeholder capitalism, and
  • harnessing the full power of their CEO peer networks.”

Showing more humanity

 “Perhaps the most notable feature of how CEOs are showing up differently is that they are showing more of their humanity,” the article says. Some edited excerpts include these:

  • Paul Tufano, CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas is quoted saying, “If CEOs can step into a ministerial role—extending hands virtually, truly listening, relating to and connecting with people where they are—there is enormous potential to inspire people and strengthen bonds and loyalties within the company.”
  • Lance Fritz, CEO of Union Pacific, said “[Employees] need to see that their leadership is vulnerable, empathetic, and making decisions in accordance with our values, which I’d better be the living proof of.”
  • Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, discussed prioritizing care for stakeholders, “Week one was all about our employees. We secured everyone’s jobs and income for three months. The next week, we started thinking about our community response. We donated products, got into a big partnership for handwashing, and made €500 million available as working capital to pay small suppliers early. And after we had taken care of people and the community, that’s when we thought fundamentally about the business, about the fact that we make things and collect cash for them. That’s when we secured supply lines and built extra resilience into our supply chain.”

We applaud these shifts, which bode well for deepening business durability and positive impact for employees and communities. 

We just don’t recommend you try to say “leadership shifts” three times fast!