Top 20 Visionary CEOs 2023
In addition to the mindset shifts mentioned in the editorial, there are any number of more tangible reasons why companies have been able to drive this kind of progress so quickly. Some CEOs, such as Vivek Sankaran of Albertsons and Lance Fritz of Union Pacific, have noted that remote work and bans on travel have opened up banks of time that give them the opportunity to focus more on what really matters. As Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Group, says, “[As a consultant,] I used to fly to meet a customer, even if it took all day or more, for a one-hour meeting. Now I know that the amount of time that goes into traveling is not necessary. That’s the way people used to live, but I think that that will come down now.” Unilever CEO Alan Jope tells us, “We’re all discovering what a capacity trap travel is. I feel a quite calming sense of control over my own time.” Others, however, like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, discovered early in the crisis that not having travel time took from them valuable reflection, focus, and restoration time. Fink reminds us that downtime at the water cooler with colleagues and travel by oneself can be creative openings and outlets for new thinking. Many CEOs have since adapted by booking “flight time” into their schedule so as to avoid spending all day, every day, on videoconference meetings. In either case, the COVID-19 experience has made it clearer than ever that CEOs must be extremely intentional about how they use their time.Here are some CEOs who have made brilliant transformations in leading and also guiding.