5 ways we’re redefining responsible leadership
February 16, 2021
February 16, 2021
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In today’s challenging times, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses—and people—to shine as responsible leaders.
A new generation of leaders is putting responsible leadership at the heart of operating models in order to address the decade´s societal challenges.
It takes bold action to drive real change, and we’re putting ourselves at the top of the list of organizations striving to make the world a better place for our people, our clients and our communities.
Purpose is just as important as performance.
Last year at Davos, we launched the Responsible Leadership program with WEF’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers communities and published a research report titled “Seeking Responsible Leadership.” We found that 61% of emerging leaders believe it’s no longer enough to do business for the sake of business; leaders want to also have a positive impact on society.
And it’s not just emerging leaders who are championing change.
We surveyed 30,000 young people at various stages of their careers and asked what their most important criteria is, after salary, when considering a new job. More than 40% reported an employer’s sense of purpose or impact on society as the second-most important factor.
There is a real appetite for finding new ways to help solve the world’s most immediate problems while unleashing new waves of sustainable and equitable growth. This year, we extended this work, and talked to young leaders to find out how they demonstrate responsible leadership. We learned that these leaders are “living” it in really interesting ways, putting equity, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything they do.
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“A new generation of leaders has put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of their organizations. By exemplifying responsible leadership, they are showing how to create value while leading with values.”
— Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture
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Increasing pressure on our climate. A fragile global economy. The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These are just some of the challenges that businesses face, our research reveals.
It’s not only possible to drive profitable growth while being a good corporate citizen—it’s essential. Businesses who strike a balance between organizational performance, continuous innovation and sustainability and trust will be better positioned for success.
The good news is that leaders agree. Seventy-two percent of CEOs we surveyed say gaining people’s trust will be critical to their competitiveness in the next five years.
Young leaders around the world are challenging leadership norms, bringing their own diverse experiences and backgrounds to shape and inform how they lead responsibly through these exceptionally challenging times. By exemplifying responsible leadership they show how they apply the five elements of responsible leadership that will be required from leaders to accelerate growth while improving societal outcomes:
This is truly the decade to deliver, and we’ve set some bold and ambitious goals to hold ourselves accountable in our journey to build a future of shared success.
The actions we’re taking—and the people who are making them happen—are why we’ve once again made it onto FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Companies list for the 19th consecutive year, and No. 1 for social responsibility acts.
Join us, and transform the future of business—and the world—with the work you do every day.
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