The role of a CEO in 2020

The role of a CEO in 2020.

Adaptable? For many, one of the first qualities that come to mind when we think of a modern CEO. 

Why is that? They are the driving force behind an organisation…the decision makers. Without them, teams are likely to be left not knowing the direction and strategy of the business going forward.

Needing to “wear multiple hats”; Chief Executives, are constantly monitoring and looking for new ways to motivate their team, in conjunction with looking for new ways to improve the organisational culture. Playing a huge part in key day to day factors, such as productivity and staff retention, their jobs are crucial to the success of the business.

The role of a CEO in 2020 and beyond by Leadership trust

But in 2020 – the role was presented with intense challenges. There’s so much change, and these are people who are constantly looking for new ways to respond effectively and accordingly. This is a time that none of us have experienced before, and everyone looks at them for answers, when in fact, they often need support themselves. Battling with fearful employees, complete remote working and uncertainty, challenges often arise in areas such as communication and siloed working.

So, who are the top 10 CEO’s right now? (According to research by Glassdoor)

  1. Anglian Water’s Peter Simpson (99% approval rating)
  2. Network Rail’s Andrew Haines (98% approval rating)
  3. Metro Bank’s Craig Donaldson (98% approval rating)
  4. Bloomberg L.P.’s Michael R. Bloomberg (98% approval rating)
  5. Siemens’ Juergen Maier (97% approval rating)
  6. BlackRock’s Laurence D. Fink (97% approval rating)
  7. Morgan Stanley’s James P. Gorman (97% approval rating)
  8. P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon (97% approval rating)
  9. Rolls-Royce’s Warren East (97% approval rating)
  10. Shell’s Ben van Beurden (97% approval rating)

What are the specific qualities which sets them apart from their counterparts?

To be in the top 10, these are all leaders who have certain behaviours and mind-sets to enable new possibilities. They are able to adapt and respond quickly to any sudden change, as well as empowering their teams to think outside of the box, and come up with innovative solutions to achieve the best results out of a bad situation.

adapting to sudden change CEOs roles in modern world leadership trust interview with female CEO Lea Cleret

Most importantly in the current context, many of them have experientially learned how to deal with a crisis.. Research by PWC suggests that 69% of companies have experienced a crisis in the last 5 years. It’s key to point out that this does not just affect the business, but also, the employees and wider community as a whole.

Which begs the question, what would it take for companies to share the problems they are experiencing?  Many of us are tired of hearing the same news stories and everything that is going wrong. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to hear about the solutions companies are implementing? Perhaps if we did this more,  maybe then we would be able to learn from each-other as we build our crisis response plans.

The secret to a good crisis response… good preparation and planning. This is something that our CEO Dr. Léa Cléret, unpacks further in the video below, where she is interviewed by Leadership Trust apprentice, Katherine on the challenges of being a CEO. 



Kathryn Taylor

Digital Marketing Assistant

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