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For the 2022 Forbes CEO Next List, we spoke with recruiters, leadership experts and board directors who say the path to the top job, and the skills needed to succeed in it, has changed. Getty
Wherever you are in your career, you might have wondered what it’s like to be CEO. The power to make decisions and lead enterprise-wide teams of hundreds or even thousands of employees. The opportunity to disrupt industries and drive strategy that can launch new product categories or upend the tech status quo. And of course, the luxury of an army of assistants, cushy office digs and the potential for millions in compensation.
But what boards are looking for in that top job is changing. Setting the vision and strategy of a company and putting the right people in the right roles—while being sensitive to stakeholder needs and making shareholders a top priority—has become mere table stakes. Between the pandemic and polarization, climate change and cancel culture, the role has evolved in ways that few would have imagined a few years ago. As Stephen Miles, an executive coach and founder of the Miles Group, told my colleague Diane Brady for our recent story, the CEO has gone from being the leader who runs the company to the person who must also promote its purpose, impact and credentials as an employer of choice.
Miles spoke with us as part of an expansive package Diane and I produced featuring up-and-coming leaders who executive recruiters, leadership consultants and CEO coaches believe may be close to getting the top job. Our 2022 CEO Next list of 50 leaders points to an array of executive career trends, from the demand that remains for operational, “P&L” experience running a business to the growth of digital transformation as a critical skill set.
But boards are also looking for emotional intelligence, agility, resilience and “intestinal fortitude,” as Korn Ferry vice chair Jane Stevenson called it. “The expectation of CEOs to take a stand—and to know when to take the stand and when to be quiet—is huge,” Stevenson told me. “It’s always been about who the person is. Now it’s who the person is, squared.”
As part of the report, we also dove into exclusive data from the Conference Board, which found that after two years of boards holding steady on CEO turnover, chief executives may finally be joining the Great Resignation. As companies begin making their way out of the pandemic, turnover is picking up again, if not yet for poor performance.
As always, thanks to assistant editor Emmy Lucas for her help compiling this week’s newsletter.
Most job postings tell you the title of the position, the experience employers require and the responsibilities for the role, but leave out the most essential information: The salary.
But that’s about to change, according to a new survey that finds a flood of new employers plan to publicly post pay ranges in upcoming job ads, following a series of state and local laws that now mandate the disclosures. A survey of nearly 400 employers by the advisory firm WTW, formerly known as Willis Towers Watson, found that while only 17% say they currently post salary ranges in locations where there is not a legal requirement to do so, an additional 62% say they are either planning to or considering adding pay ranges to job postings even in places where it’s not required by law. Read more from our story here.
Five tips to consider when reapplying to a company from which you were previously rejected.
While some employees are “quiet quitting,” the boss may be “quiet firing.” Here are ten warning signals it could happen to you.
Visibility at a company can be hard for remote workers. What to know—and do—about proximity bias.
Leading an M&A? Here are three tools to help sharpen your focus.
What you should know about the power of personal branding—with leadership guru Tom Peters.
The future of ESG: The debate surrounding ESG principles (environmental, social and governance) is increasing as states like Florida look to adopt anti-ESG legislation. As Forbes senior contributor Michael Peregrine writes, “increasing criticism of ESG investing and related ratings practices should prompt companies to reconfirm (not necessarily revisit) their commitment to the long term value that can arise from thoughtful social and environmental investment.” New York Fashion Week, writes Forbes’ Michael Posner, deserves credit for including panel discussions about sustainability, but there’s still a gap between what the industry says and what companies do about the issue.
Another viral workplace trend?: You’ve read the swarm of articles on “quiet quitting,” the name given to doing what your job requires, rather than going above and beyond, to pursue a better work-life balance. Now, there may be a new viral workplace trend taking place, Forbes senior contributor Jack Kelly predicts: FatFIRE. It’s an acronym for Financial Independence, Retire Early, with “Fat” referring to the substantial nest egg you need to do so. FatFIRE advocates for the opposite of quiet quitting, focusing relentlessly on getting rich quickly to retire early.
The queen’s farewell: After her seven-decade reign, Queen Elizabeth II died last week at the age of 96. Forbes senior contributor Edward Segal provides an analysis of King Charles III’s first public speech as king, what leaders should know when it comes to crisis communication and the lessons to be learned from Queen Elizabeth II.
The latest market news: Stocks tumbled Tuesday following a steeper-than-expected 8.3% jump in consumer prices last month, Forbes’ Madeline Halpert reports. As inflation remains elevated and recession fears grow, Warner Bros. Discovery and banking giant Goldman Sachs are the latest companies reportedly planning company layoffs.
National abortion ban: A bill that would ban the abortion procedure after 15 weeks nationwide was introduced Tuesday by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.). Although the legislation faces long odds of actually passing, Forbes’ Alison Durkee reports what this ban would do amid continued attention to how employers can offer travel reimbursements for employees seeking reproductive care in states that have restrictions.
Work relationships can be hard—especially if you don’t get along with the person. Author and Harvard Business Review podcast host Amy Gallo provides a research-based guide to navigating those relationships and difficult co-workers in her new book, Getting Along: How to Work With Anyone (Even Difficult People). Find Forbes contributor Christopher Littlefield’s recap of his conversation with Gallo about these inevitable office dynamics here.