Should I make that change? / Should I change my job? / Should I look for new horizons?
This question comes up in business life very often. Everyone is in year planning mode or is already following this year’s plan. The seduction is enormous.
If you are in a new place, can you start with a clean sheet?
If you are in a new place, can you finally start doing new things?
The answer may not be available, it might take another couple of years for things to materialise.
In the December 2019 edition of the Harvard Business Journal, the annual list of the Top 100 best performing CEOs was published again. You are eligible for the list if:
- you have been in the same position for more than 2 years
- your contract ran through 31st. July 2019
- your company was listed on the S&P Global 1200 list at the end of 2018.
This leaves us with 883 CEOs at 876 firms from 29 countries.
The list was first published in 2010 and has been an annual event since.
In 2015 a new perspective was introduced rather than taking into account pure financial indicators. Environmental, social and governance indicators (ESG scores) were also taken into consideration when rating the CEOs’ success. This ESG rating had a 20% weighting between 2015-2018, in 2019 its significance was raised to 30%.
This led to Jeff Bezos losing out on first place, even though, if only financial indicators are considered, he has been in first place since 2014.
Why does this new perspective have to be considered at all?
Because investors and investment funds are now not only considering the financial aspects of their investments but are also taking into account these other “softer” factors.
This should not come as a real surprise, as the new generations, which are an ever-increasing part of the human population, are putting a lot more emphasis on these ESG factors. A CEO cannot just deliver good numbers anymore, he/she:
- has to support environmentally friendly behaviour,
- has to take responsibility for the impact on society
- has to ensure the employees' well-being and safety.
The statement of the Business Roundtable held by 181 US CEOs on 19th. August 2019 supports this idea:
The goal of a company is not only to satisfy the shareholders but to comply with 4 other stakeholder groups’ interests: the employees, the consumers, the vendors and the community.
Specific traits of the Top 100 best performing CEOs based on the evaluation of the 883 participants:
- 65 were part of the 2018 list as well,
- the average age of 45 when they came into the role and have been in the job for an average of 15 years,
- the top 7 CEOs took up their position before 2010,
- there are 4 women in the list of 2019 compared to 3 in 2018,
- all 4 female leaders are in the Top 50,
- the highest-ranked women leader is at #16 – Nancy McKinstry – Wolters Kluwer, Netherlands, she has been the CEO since 2003,
- 87 CEOs are insiders, unchanged from last year(out of the 100),
- the Top performing CEO in 2019 was: When Jensen Huang (company: NVIDIA, founded in 1993, field: IT, HQ: United States of America), #2 in 2018 and #3 in 2017.
So? Should I stay or should I go? How can I be successful in the long run? There is no secret recipe! One thing is certain, to stay on top, one must produce at a constantly high level over a sustained period.
It is not enough to just satisfy financial indicators, the leaders of the future have other salient responsibilities as well!
It is important that when changing jobs and companies, one properly and comprehensively evaluates that the new company gives the best long-term development possibilities.
The next question is if you are capable of meeting the expectations of the given opportunity and able to reach the top through it.
In this topic we, the executive search professionals, carry a great deal of responsibility in recognizing both when and whom, to give the best/ most appropriate talent development and career opportunities.
Source: Harvard Business Journal 2019. November - December