Business Leadership in Times of Crisis: Collected Insights from Chief Executive Officers into Successes, Challenges and Areas for Future Focus

A dramatic rise of interlinked global challenges is forcing business executives to navigate new levels of uncertainty. The war in Ukraine is producing alarming cascading effects across a world already impacted by COVID-19 and climate change. The risks of generations lost, as well as waves of food insecurity, energy shortages, unfolding debt crises, and social unrest are very real. In this context of uncertainty, more and more chief executive officers (CEOs) are stepping into broader leadership capacities, propelled by business necessity and by evolving societal expectations of their role.

The UN Global Compact has compiled perspectives from CEOs across the globe, to provide policymakers, companies, and the public with practical insights into business leadership in today’s novel and dynamic operating environment. This report describes how today’s CEOs face complex challenges to their operations—and to their sustainability agenda.