The Real Change Agents of Our Society

In the sixteenth annual global survey of CEOs conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), one of the three global accounting firms, thousand-four hundred CEOs around the world were asked to select the leaders they admired the most, and  the traits that they admired most in those leaders.

In response to the survey, many leaders were nominated and they shortlisted the top 10 admired leaders, which include Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Jack Welch, and five more. Though, only two former business leaders, Steve Jobs and Jack Welch, made onto the list, all the leaders that were nominated had a few traits in common: a strong vision, innovative ideas, persistence, excellent ethics, and transformational leadership.  Thus, it is evident that today also the qualities needed to be a leader remains much the same despite the cultural and generational differences.

In an era where a growing number of people choose entrepreneurship over other professions, leadership has become one of the prominent subjects to be discussed. However, even for an efficient leader, overcoming hurdles and reaching success is not all plain sailing in today’ s ultra -competitive business environment. So, what would be the traits that define a successful business leader?

While the business acumen and comprehensive understanding of a changing business environment are considered as one of the important qualities, having a clear vision, showing empathy, and being a strong coach seem to stand out when compared to others traits.  Also, listening to employees’ suggestions and seeking inputs from teams’ influences their company’s assets to perform at their best and create a cohesive work culture within organizations.

But those traits are not enough when it comes to building an organization and leading teams from the front. Among the leadership qualities, courage has become the most identifiable outward trait. Having this trait implies, a leader is willing to take risks for achieving his/her goals with no assurance of success. In today’s challenging business environment, a CEO who instills this trait often goes on to challenge the Status-quo in the industry and establish a new pathway in the industry in his own right.

Today’s CEOs, Tomorrow’s Statesmen

 In a recent study conducted by fortune, they say that we have entered the “Age of the CEO States Man”, a major shift in American political culture in which corporate executives have the opportunities to leverage their impact for social change naturally. They further argue that people will increasingly look to executives, rather than executives, as change agents. Their argument is fair and sensible given Trump’s victory over Clinton in 2017 Presidential election, and businesses men evolution into country’s key decision-makers in less time.

The CEO community’s rise from a company owner to world known leaders didn’t happen overnight. They earned this respect overcoming hurdles along their ways and stepping up for the whole IT community altogether. Not to mention the innovations they have brought into the industry through their fearless adventures with the technology and path breaking ideas. And at the time when they stamped themselves as inventors and innovators, people were not reluctant to include them on the list which comprised of world leaders. 

In the recent past, when PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, took the pledge to produce healthier drinks and snacks food, it gave an impression that today’s CEOs are becoming more concerned not just about the revenue and competition, but also about the well-being of their customers and society as a whole.

If she succeeds in her pledge, it will dramatically reduce the concerns over junk food in the U.S. Also, it will prompt CEOs from various sectors to take a decisive step to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of their consumers. Since this shift is taking place virtually across all sectors, our future looks quite exciting, and we need them to take the role of change agents.