• Betsy Klein

What CEOS Are Talking About in the Latest CEO Roundtable Series

Updated: Mar 3



Over 500 CEOs have participated in the CEO and topic-based round tables. Our ninth series is complete, and while COVID continues to reign as the underlying theme, discussions have evolved from managing a crisis to a paradigm shift in how to grow in this virtual, global economy.


With that comes a corporate culture evolving to adapt to a permanent, virtual workspace, or a hybrid thereof, with CEOs remaining resilient and prioritizing strategies while empowering and strengthening their teams.


Growth, Capital Raise, and Expanding Your Network

Conversations focused on the importance of utilizing the power of a network, not limiting your reach to local funding and thinking globally. Also, prioritize cultivating relationships when you don't need them, so they are in place for when you do.

  • Research how VCs, PEs, and Corporations would look at a business like yours in terms of an investment. Passion will only get you so far; you need to understand what success looks like to them.

  • Dedicate time to establishing connections and networking, just like you would do with any other CEO function.

  • Leverage your network to scale internationally to create a network in other countries; this is vital to growth in this global economy.

  • Recognize your expertise is the real value.

"Leverage your experience and your expertise to pitch why you're the best person to do this and why you're going to be the person that wins."

- CEO of North American AgTech Business


"To ultra-high net worths, you have to make the ask. Get to the point - no fluff. Make the ask. You have to be very confident when going into the raise."

- CEO of North American PropTech Business


Resilience and Endurance

Organizations, missions, businesses, and companies are only as resilient as their people, and people are only as resilient as their leaders.

  • According to behavioral research (Kelner, Rivers, & O'Connell), 75% of people's views of their organization–their place in it, how they're valued, how their contributions matter, how confident they are of success–all come down to their view of one person: their leader.

  • People are watching those in a leadership position; they are processing how their leader responds and adapts to adversity and stress. It influences and informs how engaged they are and how they work together, how the company grows and scales, and its reputation and brand.

The ability as leaders to self-manage adversity and stress impacts the resilience of others. The capacity and capability to be resilient can be self-taught and cultivated in others, and there are four foundational elements to building personal resiliency: Self-Care, Self-Awareness, Self-Talk and Staying Connected

The bottom line for resilience is the more one understands oneself and finds the tools and strategies that work to manage stress, recovery, energy, and mindset, the more one will build resilience reserves.


Corporate Culture, Keeping Teams Empowered and Driving Innovation

The past year has been one of reckoning and reimagination of organizational structures and teams.

  • The workforce coming into 2021 may be burned out and feel disconnected. The customs and activities they use to have are no longer there and may never be again.

  • There is a real focus to be more empathetic to people's overall wellness.

  • This is an excellent opportunity for CEOs to identify talent, communicate a value proposition, and look to reconnect and re-engage retention strategies.

  • Transparency is critical. People enjoy hearing from the top, hearing the details, and understanding what is going on with the organization to feel more secure during this time.

  • Keep them updated on company strategy changes as the business continues to navigate the pandemic and whether the business is impacted positively or negatively.


"I think this is a real turning point in the world, in my view, it's all about how we reimagine the world, not just work; because of this paradigm shift, technology is becoming sharper with access to 24/7 services. The world is truly global. In the macro view, we've got to reimagine how we fit into society for our employees and their well-being." - CEO of European Medical Supplier


Of great importance is how companies will continue to drive innovation. With the belief that some of the best ideas are generated spontaneously when gathered around the water cooler, how will spontaneity and creativity be recreated in a scheduled virtual meeting? How many globally are adapting, and how many are clinging to the traditional approach?

"When you look at what's of happening with these industries, what I've noticed is innovation was incredible this last year because it was under duress in terms of what are we doing to do and how are we going to pivot. The energy, the anxiety, and the angst created some amazing innovations. But now that stress is gone, we don't have that angst driving us anymore, and we've also spent a year not being together. Culture is not created nor sustained in this environment where people are somewhere else; somehow, we will get people together. It's going to be creating those processes and those events that will continue to create innovation and bringing people together while still allowing that flexibility is quite frankly here to stay."

- CEO of Growth Stage Recruitment Firm

To learn more about the CEO Roundtable Series and fill out a profile to join a roundtable please click here.

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