Something big is happening in the world of business. CEOs increasingly say their jobs have become less about giving orders, more about inspiring, motivating, setting a north star. They are taking the lead on big issues like climate change, worker retraining, and diversity and inclusion. They are under pressure from employees, customers and investors not just to turn a profit, but to prove they are doing good in the world. And in the process, they are fundamentally redefining the relationship between business and society. Join Fortune CEO Alan Murray and Senior Editor Ellen McGirt as they probe the best of these leaders for insight into what they're doing, why they're doing it, and what impact it is having.
Jeff Immelt Explains What Went Wrong at GE
Jeff Immelt was the CEO of General Electric for 16 years. It was a controversial run to say the least. During his tenure company stock plunged, wiping out well over $100 billion in market value. Now, Immelt is ready to talk about what went wrong – and, what went right. He’s written a new book called Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company. And today, he joins Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt on Leadership Next.
Also in today’s episode, Fortune’s Geoff Colvin who has spent years chronicling the company and has his own insight to offer.
Is Augmented Reality Coming to Your Business?
Years ago, the average person didn’t have a cell phone – mobile phones were a tool used primarily by big business. Of course today everyone has a phone in their pocket. Peggy Johnson believes augmented reality tech is going to follow this same trajectory. She’s the new CEO of Magic Leap, a startup founded in 2010 that makes augmented reality headsets. When it became clear that selling these devices to consumer gamers wasn’t going to sustain the company, Magic Leap decided to pivot to the enterprise market. And Peggy Johnson is leading that charge.
In this episode of Leadership Next, she tells Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt why she raised her hand for this challenging job and lays out the business case for industries adopting augmented reality. She also talks about building her management team, supporting employees and says even small companies can “embrace stakeholder capitalism.”
Tristan Walker: Companies Need a Plan to Serve Diverse Customers
Fed up with razor blades that irritated his skin, and tired of walking down “ethnic” beauty aisles, entrepreneur Tristan Walker decided to start his own company. In 2013 he launched Bevel, a suite of shaving products designed for Black men. Walker & Company Brands was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2018, making Tristan the first Black CEO of a P&G subsidiary.
In this episode of Leadership Next he tells Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt that he believes all companies should have a plan to serve customers of color. “Every company in 20 years, when folks of color become the majority in this country, if they do not have a plan to serve this audience with empathy, I believe that they will not exist.”
Walker believes the global pandemic may have accelerated opportunity for employees of color, and he shares his outlook on the likelihood of lasting change in the wake of this past summer’s social justice uprising. Also in the conversation: why Walker sold his startup to the giant P&G, his complicated feelings around venture capital, and advice for other Black entrepreneurs.
Business Sets Priorities for 2021
Each year Fortune assembles about 50 of the top CEOs in the world for a dinner on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Of course this year, the annual event was postponed due to COVID-19. But Fortune still wanted to convene this group to discuss how business could best join forces to make a positive impact in 2021. How can all of us emerge from the global pandemic stronger than before?
And today, on Leadership Next, our listeners are getting a special seat at that event. Before setting priorities for 2021, attendees heard updates on several of the most pressing issues of the moment: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla spoke about the coronavirus vaccine efforts; Mary Barra of General Motors unveiled how her company plans to fight climate change; Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg offered a picture of tech regulation in the months ahead.
Leadership Next's Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt bring you highlights from these reports. Also joining the conversation, the co-host of Fortune's Brainstorm podcast, Michal Lev-Ram.
Need Help Improving Your Company's Diversity Efforts?
Leadership Next kicks off a new season with important discussions around Black Americans and work. Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt speak with tech executive Charles Phillips who is a founding member of OneTen – a coalition of business leaders committing to hire one million employees of color over the next ten years. Phillips explains how the group came about, and why it’s so important. He talks about his own experiences - how he became interested in computers, how his upbringing prepared him to succeed in a corporate world where very few people looked like him, and why he sold his company to Koch Industries instead of taking it public.
Also on today’s show, David Craig the CEO of data company Refinitiv. Refinitiv is a key partner in a new Fortune initiative, Measure Up which pushes companies to track, report and disclose their employee diversity numbers. While many companies proclaim the importance of corporate diversity and inclusion, very few actually report their progress towards meeting DEI goals. You can join the effort by heading to https://Fortune.com/measureup
Check Out Fortune's Newest Podcast
Leadership Next has wrapped for the year. We’ll be back with more CEO interviews in January, when we kick off Season 2.
In the meantime, we invite you to check out - and subscribe - to a new Fortune podcast: Fortune Brainstorm.
Each week hosts Michal Lev-Ram and Brian O’Keefe talk about how tech is reshaping our world. They’ve explored how robots are identifying COVID-19, how AI is preventing wildfires, and why we should all care about the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Google.
Today, Alan selected one of his favorite episodes to share with Leadership Next listeners. It's all about Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year, Elon Musk. You may admire Musk, you may despise him – but you'll likely learn something new about him in this episode of Fortune Brainstorm.
If you enjoy what you hear, you can find more episodes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/brainstorm/id1533311996
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am liking the podcast’s format and its content so far. I specifically like how Alan Murray invites leading figures in the business world to the episode in order to get their different perpsectives on the topic. I also appreciate how the episodes are not long. However ,there are better episodes than others. As a suggestion, you may include a few questions from listeners on the topic at hand so that they get answered in the podcast.
Keep the podcasts coming...
I have listed to all of the podcasts since the beginning and enjoyed each one. I am able to learn a little something from each of the guests. I may not agree with some of the things that they say, however each one brings something new and refreshing that we can all benefit from.
Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 👏👏👏
Whether you’re well established as someone who can translate creative energy into the impact you want to have on the world, or just getting started as a catalyst for change - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Alan, Ellen and the entire Fortune team do an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving enterprise and life you can be proud of - with leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!