Career Management, CEO

Envisioning the role of a CEO in 2035…

Envisioning the role of a CEO in 2035 requires understanding the trajectory of current trends in technology, societal expectations, global economics, and environmental concerns. The landscape of leadership is transforming, suggesting that CEOs will need to navigate a world vastly different from today’s. Here’s how the job of a CEO might look in 2035:

Mastery of Technology and Innovation

By 2035, technology will be even more deeply woven into the fabric of business. CEOs will need to be adept at leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, and quantum computing. Understanding how these technologies can be applied to enhance business operations, product offerings, and customer experiences will be crucial. The successful CEO will be one who can anticipate technological disruptions and position their company to benefit from them rather than be sidelined.

Champion of Sustainability and Social Responsibility

The increasing urgency of climate change and social inequality will make sustainability and social responsibility core components of every company’s strategy. CEOs will be expected to lead their companies in a way that not only generates profit but also contributes positively to the planet and society. This could involve initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, ethical supply chain management, and efforts to address social issues through business practices. Transparent reporting on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria will likely be the norm, and CEOs will be at the forefront of these initiatives.

Architect of Agile and Resilient Organizations

The pace of change will only accelerate, making agility and resilience key attributes of successful organizations. CEOs in 2035 will need to foster a culture of innovation, where experimentation is encouraged and failure is seen as a stepping stone to success. Building teams that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances, pivot strategies when needed, and remain resilient in the face of challenges will be a critical responsibility of future CEOs.

Builder of Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces

Diversity and inclusion will be even more critical in 2035, as companies recognize the value of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and understanding global markets. CEOs will need to go beyond superficial measures to create genuinely inclusive cultures where everyone feels valued and empowered. This includes ensuring diversity at all levels of the organization, from the boardroom to entry-level positions, and actively working to eliminate bias and discrimination.

Visionary Leader and Ethical Steward

The CEO of 2035 will need to be a visionary, capable of looking beyond short-term gains to see the bigger picture of how their company fits into a rapidly changing world. Ethical leadership will be paramount, as stakeholders increasingly hold companies to high standards of integrity and transparency. CEOs will need to navigate complex ethical dilemmas, making decisions that balance the interests of various stakeholders while adhering to core values.

Conclusion

In summary, the CEO of 2035 will be much more than a business leader. They will be technology-savvy innovators, champions of sustainability and social responsibility, architects of agile and resilient organizations, builders of diverse and inclusive workplaces, and visionary leaders who operate with the highest ethical standards. The CEOs who can rise to these challenges will be well-positioned to lead their companies into a prosperous and sustainable future.

Business Education, Career Management, CEO

Details of the ‘CEO-2035’ course

Course Title: Leadership for the Future: Grooming Business Students into Future CEOs

Course Description: This course is designed for business students who aspire to become future CEOs. The course focuses on developing leadership skills, strategic thinking, and a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of business management required to acquire the CEO role and excel in it. Students will learn through a combination of lectures, case studies, discussions, group projects, and guest lectures from experienced CEOs and industry experts.

Course Objectives:

  1. Develop Leadership Skills: Students will learn essential leadership skills, including effective communication, decision-making, negotiation, and conflict resolution, to effectively lead teams and organizations.
  2. Foster Strategic Thinking: Students will learn how to think critically and strategically, analyze complex business situations, and make informed decisions to drive the long-term success of the organization.
  3. Understand Business Functions: Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of various business functions, including finance, marketing, operations, human resources, and corporate strategy, to develop a holistic approach to business management.
  4. Learn Corporate Governance: Students will learn about the principles of corporate governance, ethical decision-making, and responsible leadership, emphasizing the importance of ethical and socially responsible practices in the modern business landscape.
  5. Develop Global Perspective: Students will gain an understanding of the global business environment, including international markets, geopolitical risks, cultural differences, and emerging trends, to prepare them for leading in a globalized world.
  6. Enhance Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Students will develop effective communication and interpersonal skills, including public speaking, presentation, networking, and relationship-building, critical for success as a CEO.
  7. Learn from Industry Experts: Students will have the opportunity to learn from experienced CEOs and industry experts through guest lectures, case studies, and real-world examples, providing practical insights into the challenges and opportunities of leading organizations.
  8. Capstone Project: Students will apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to develop a strategic business plan, which will serve as a capstone project, allowing them to integrate and demonstrate their learning in a practical business context.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction to CEO Role
  2. Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making
  3. Business Functions and Holistic Management
  4. Corporate Governance and Ethics
  5. Global Business and Emerging Trends
  6. Communication and Interpersonal Skills for CEOs
  7. Leading High-Performing Teams
  8. Change Management and Innovation
  9. CEO as a Visionary and Transformational Leader
  10. Guest Lectures and Case Studies from CEOs
  11. Capstone Project: Developing a Strategic Business Plan

Assessment Methods:

  1. Class participation in discussions and group activities
  2. Case study analysis and presentations
  3. Individual and group projects
  4. Written assignments
  5. Guest lecture reflections
  6. Capstone project presentation and report

By the end of this course, students will have developed the knowledge, skills, and mindset required to excel in the role of a CEO, and be prepared to take on leadership positions in the business world with confidence and competence.

Business Education, Career Management, CEO

Remermber my warning about SPAC? What are SPAC’s responsibilities in IPO?

Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola, a EV manufacturer lied “nearly about all aspects of the business” acording to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. Did the SPAC that took Nikola public drop the ball and cause this debacle? Would the traditional vetting process have eliminated this quagmire? Prosecutors say, “To make it appear the truck prototype was driving, it was towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down to the bottom.” Click the images below and read on….


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CEO, Fintech, Options Trading, Private Equity

Can options trading influence valuation? Looks so, just as we discussed in PE class

Remember our discussion on how call and put volumes are used by some investors to measure sentiments? Investors who buy ‘out-of-the-money’ call options anticipate the underlying stock price to spike. Recenly Softbank bought $4B worth call options on its holdings AMZN and MSFT. Many investor interpret this move as a buy signal on these equities and this may have led to spike in prices. This ends up escalating the valuation of these companies even though the underlying business models don’t justify these levels of valuation. Click on the image below to read an interesting article on this topic.


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CEO, Private Equity

Negative oil prices? Anticipate Loan Calling and …….Name Calling!

Something bizarre happened on April 20th! Yes, some oil futures contracts went negative and it has never happened.
What does a negative oil price mean? Drillers have extracted oil from the ground and they are out of storage capacity. So they would pay wholesale buyers money to take the oil off their hands. Imagine that! We discussed negative interest rates in the class and I explained that it’s like charging you storage/safe-keeping for your money. This is a similar scenario. This can lead to another problem. In our PE and CEO 2030 classes we discussed how when the underlying price of the collateralized assets crash may lead lenders ‘calling the loans’. The Loan Calling is an industry jargon that describes a demand by the lender for loan repayment even though it’s not due. Those companies that used their oil in the ground as a collateral may be receiving Loan Calls since the collateral has lost value due to crash in oil prices. Click the following article and send me your views to my Stanford email ID.

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CEO, Entrepreneurship, Private Equity

Remember our discussion on Hostile Takeovers in the PE, CEO classes and on how countries are vulnerable?

The heading in one of my slides was ‘How to take over a country peacefully?’. My answer was ‘by taking over the vital companies in that country’. I hope you remember that discussion in the PE/CEO 2030 class. The COVID situation may make scuh scenarios a reality. India is addressing this issue. Please read on. As usual send your views to my Stanford email ID.

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CEO, Entrepreneurship

Remember our discussion on how important timing is for funding? Here is an invaluable example.

In our Entrepreneurship class, we discussed how long one can wait to obtain funding and the factors influencing the timing. In the following piece, a founder is discussing how his decision not to prioritize funding cost him heavily. Please read the part about what to and what not to outsource especially. Click on the image below. As usual please send your comments to my Stanford email ID.

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Career Management, CEO

Make hay when it rains! Companies that save cash for a rainy day can. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has the cash.

Remember in the CEO-2030 class I discussed how companies that save cash for a rainy day can make go bargain hunting? I also discussed why ‘resource allocation and deployment’ must be taught as an elective. Here is an example of how cash comes handy. Click on the URL below.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has the cash to buy Tesla, Starbucks, or McDonald’s after the coronavirus sell-off

Career Management, CEO, Private Equity

M & A galore in the horizon? PE funds have been hoarding cash and waiting for this moment!

Private Equity firms have more than 1$ Trillion in cash! This could be the beginning of a once in a lifetime investment opportunity for those in waiting. Remember the discussion in the CEO-2030 class how the 2007 financial crisis opened up opportunities for acquistions and thus a spike in demand for new CEOs? CNBC had an intetresting article on this topic. Please click the image below. Should companies take PE’s money or not? Do they even have an option? What if the PE firms go hostile? I’m interested in what you have to say on this.

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CEO, Private Equity

Our discussion on share buyback in the CEO-2030 and PE classes – Timely articles in Bloomberg and CNN

These articles in Bloomberg and CNN discuss how the airlines in the US spent their free cash flow to buy back their shares. It raises so many points we discussed in the class. But, did the money really disappear? Where did all the money go? CNN reports “The Big Four Airlines, according to Baldwin’s office, spent $42.5 billion on buybacks between 2014 and 2019. That nearly matches $50 billion the industry is now asking for”. What a coicidence! I Would like to hear from those who disagreed with me. Click on the images below.

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CEO

Silicon Valley Investors Call Summit to Disrupt IPO Business – Bloomberg

Wall street’s stronghold on IPO market is being questioned finally! I have been writing for years about how Wall street’s monopoly is not good for both the listing companies and investors. Looks like Wework’s IPO fiasco is waking up VC firms to consider alternatives.

“Powerful figures are gathering 2,500 miles from Wall Street to redesign one of its oldest and most lucrative businesses — but few from the industry will have a seat at the table. Attendees plan to discuss alternative strategies including direct listings, which replace financial underwriters with cutting-edge computer code.”

Read the Bloomberg article below.

Silicon Valley Investors Call Summit to Disrupt IPO Business