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.
Edward Jones CEO on Crypto, Recession and the Importance of Empathy
To those who love online trading or flock to the latest cryptocurrency, Edward Jones may appear old-fashioned. The company has been offering clients financial advice for 100 years and it remains focused on face-to-face interactions. And, CEO Penny Pennington says while cryptocurrency may be a fit for some portfolios, "we do not believe that speculation is a part of serious long-term financial planning. And there is part of the crypto market right now that is pure speculation."
This approach is clearly working out well for Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company that's spent the pandemic growing its customer base. In today's Leadership Next, Pennington tells Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt how she's working to diversify the company's pool of financial advisors, why she strives to infuse empathy into all aspects of the company, and what she sees as the key tenets of good leadership. Also in today's conversation: Pennington's approach to investing in crypto and her take on the threat of an impending recession.
How did this healthcare provider's patients defy the COVID odds?
When Dr. Marlow Hernandez was a child in Cuba, he promised his grandmother he would become a doctor. He did so, and is now the CEO of Cano Health, a primary care provider specializing in senior care. Cano has 137 medical centers across the country. The majority of its patients are located in low-income areas of South Florida.
Companies the size of Cano Health don't typically appear on Leadership Next. But Cano's results are anything but typical. COVID-19 mortality rates among its patient population are 60 percent lower than the comparable senior population. How did Cano pull this off, and what can the rest of the health industry learn from its business model?
War in Ukraine: 'There will be a food crisis,' says Yara CEO
As the war in Ukraine continues, it's brewing one crisis - threatening the global food supply - and deepening another - pushing millions of Ukrainians from their homes. Today on Leadership Next, Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt speak with two leaders who are working hard to mitigate these problems.
Svein Tore Holsether is the CEO of global fertilizer company Yara. He explains why the war is hurting agricultural production and driving up prices. He also points out that while the larger businesses community has widely paused operations in Russia, Yara doing so has ripple effects across the world's food supply. Holsether shares how he's navigating this humanitarian dilemma. Also in the conversation: why Holsether is pushing his company to produce green fertilizer, the challenges this presents and how it's changing the way he spends his time.
David Miliband is CEO of the International Rescue Committee, an NGO that assists refugees in over 40 countries. He lays out the scope of the refugee problem created by the war in Ukraine. He then details the role business can play in improving the lives of refugees.
A Conversation With the Incoming CEO of FedEx
Fred Smith envisioned FedEx during his time as an undergrad at Yale. By 1973 his school project had become a functioning business. He's been a part of the organization ever since. But on June 1st he'll step down from the role of CEO and transition to FedEx Executive Chairman.
Taking the reins at the Fortune 500 giant is current President and COO, Raj Subramaniam. In his first interview with a major media outlet, Raj tells Leadership Next how he came to FedEx, and how he's thinking about filling the shoes of a legendary CEO.
Also in today's conversation: why the company stopped delivering packages for Amazon, the role FedEx played in delivering crucial COVID-19 supplies, and how technology will impact FedEx operations in the future.
Does Your Company Have a "Modern" Board?
As Leadership Next listeners know, the role of business in society is changing. Companies are being held responsible for their environmental footprint, CEOs are asked to weigh in on social issues. Employees and customers both have new expectations of the corporations in their lives. And as companies respond to these changes they need corporate boards that understand these new expectations and pressures.
Today, boards best equipped to do this are composed of diverse members with a wide variety of expertise. Nobody knows this better than Brian Stafford, the CEO of Diligent. Diligent designs software and educational tools for use by corporate boards and leaders. The company has also partnered with Fortune to build a list of companies with the most innovative boards.
In this episode, Stafford explains the changing demands on board members and the skills these leaders need to succeed.
Pfizer's COVID Lesson: Set Big Goals and People Will Meet Them
When the COVID pandemic struck, Pfizer was ready to tackle the challenge of developing a vaccine. That's due in large part to some key decisions CEO Albert Bourla made after becoming CEO in 2019. In this episode of Leadership Next he was also quick to acknowledge the role purpose played in making this feat possible.
"I think it was the most important factor," Bourla said. "It was not the singular focus on sciences, it was not the infrastructure were able to develop. It was the culture and the mindset ... breakthroughs that change patients' lives. That's the reason of our existence. This is why we have formed this corporation. Without that there's no reason for us to be part of corporate America ... Companies that are staying true to their purpose always perform better than companies that don't. And I think this is because when you are having a strong focus on your purpose, you coordinate all the resources of the company towards one common goal."
Also in the episode: the complicated debate over drug pricing, big lessons learned from the COVID pandemic, and Bourla's top leadership goal.
A veritable companion
I find this podcast continually fascinating by your choice of guests and their pivotal view of business, and what business should do WITH society. I think you are onto a major mindshift on the purpose of business.
Dynamic Team , Highly Entertaining, Superior Insights
Co-hosts Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt have extraordinary chemistry as co-hosts. They do a fabulous job interviewing iconic CEOs and newsmakers. With each new episode, I learn something new. You will too.
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.