What does the future CEO look like? by Salim Khan

This year has been unusual in that we have had to adapt to working very differently due to COVID 19. The future is also uncertain for many businesses and we need our leaders to step up and show up in a different guise. CEO's will need to be leading their organizations through unprecedented times with a goal to lead high performing teams and businesses that enable everyone to flourish in the future, this will require attention to the excellence of the business and its operations.

The future leader will have to assemble and lead as a role model exemplars of what they espouse. The rapid technological and social changes across all sectors and disciplines will impact all our workforces. This coupled with economic volatility will require CEOs to lead with strong values, lead with curiosity, courage, collaboration, transparency, humility, creativity, integrity, and compassion. The CEO of the future will be aware of the skillset of all the players and the moves that are required by each of the players in the team. They will also look at developing the team and the organization using the latest thinking in the field of team development. The future-fit CEO will an agile leader, they will have heart and treat people well. They'll need to be women and men of their world, and they'll need to recognize that they don't always have the answers, but their teams might be the ones who have the answers. Tomorrow's CEOs will be leaders of leaders. Tomorrow's CEOs won't always be obsessing about just their bottom line. They will do what's right because, well it's ethical and right. Consumers respect that. That's why 88% of consumers want to shop with brands that help them make a difference in the world, and it's why 86% of workers between the ages of 22 and 37 would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company with a strong vision and values.

Future CEOs are also going to have to be increasingly creative. They'll have to think outside the box, share their wisdom, coach their team, find solutions to unexpected problems, and hire people with imagination and creativity. That's because the problems of the future are probably things we've never heard of and technology that will solve them probably hasn't been invented as I write this.


Salim Khan is an Executive Leadership coach, working with CEOs and turning them into high performing effective leaders that deliver growth. An IT and business change expert for over 25 years, Salim believes leadership needs to change and Future CEOs need to be more inclusive, lead their organizations with strong values, lead with curiosity, courage, collaboration, transparency, humility, creativity, integrity, and compassion. For Salim, working with leaders is a passion and he has a reputation for achieving positive, lasting change in behaviours for CEOs and their teams, build better relationships with all stakeholders and foster a deeper sense of fulfilment, and ultimately greater profitability, revenue, and growth for the organizations they lead. Salim is a director at Salim Khan consulting based in London.

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