Business executives share how impact leadership transforms their workplace

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Impact leadership can sound like an ambiguous term to the average worker, and can even have different meanings for leaders themselves.at a roundtable meeting at Fortunes Impact Initiatives, sustainable business leaders and executives discussed what impact leadership means and how it has changed the workplace.

Helle Bank Jorgensen, Founder and CEO of Competent Boards, says that one way to evaluate effective leadership is to ask if the leader is leading us to our destination or desired future. increase. Meanwhile, Soumik Chatterjee, Chief Strategy Officer at Petco Health and Wellness, says that for him, impactful leadership comes down to two things in him: conviction and focus.

“Leaders need to be confident about their values, how they deliver on those values, and sometimes trade-offs with standard financial metrics,” he said. “And leaders who navigate that well in the long run become important.”

He explains that leaders have to navigate a wide variety of building blocks, from investors to customers to employees. This requires a sense of focus and clarity in providing the company’s next goals and reasons for making certain choices as a leader.

But perhaps at the heart of impact leadership is the overall goal of contributing to the greater good. Jon Banner, executive vice president and global chief impact officer of McDonald’s Corporation, said it could be your workforce, the people you want to hire, the customers you serve, or the communities you serve. It is possible that

“They all expect something, and in the long run, we need to show some leadership so that we can meet these different demands and serve our customers,” he added.

next generation impact leader

Clark Murphy, CEO of Russell Reynolds, says what is needed for the next generation of impact leaders has changed over the years. Previously, the focus was on marketing and communications. But supply chain disruptions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine due to the pandemic necessitated “deep operational” experience.

But Bank Jorgensen felt that impactful leaders needed to lean into soft skills, citing a maxim she developed as a leader during the pandemic. “Cash is king, but care is the queen,” she said.

“So if we don’t care, if we don’t care about our suppliers, if we don’t care about our employees, if we don’t care about all our stakeholders, [why] Should they care about us? she asked.

Compassion means listening, understanding and empathizing. “Leaders have to be able to understand where someone is coming from, because if they don’t understand that, they can’t steer the organization in the right direction,” Banner said.

Being an influential leader also requires a commitment to transparency.

But the economic downturn has forced some companies to cut back, so there are questions about how that will affect initiatives that address ESG (environmental, social, and governance) concerns.

“Companies that have gone through tough times cut back on marketing, cut back on caring for people, and they pay the price, and they pay the price in the long run,” Chatterjee said. Being resilient and staying focused on all ESG topics for the long term will be critical to our continued progress.”

Our new Weekly Impact Report newsletter explores how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s executives, and how to successfully navigate those challenges. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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