We polled Fortune 500 CEOs to find out what they think about business, reading, and the workplace. Here's what they said:
What are your company’s biggest challenges?*
1. The rapid pace of technological innovation 72%
2. Cyber security 66%
3. Increased regulation 61%
4. Shortage of skilled labor 34%
5. Management diversity 25%
6. Competition from a start-up 20%
7. Shareholder activism 20%
8. Competition from China/developing countries 4%
*Percent who answered either “single biggest challenge” or “one of our top three or four challenges.”
Who is your company’s most dangerous competitor?
1. Another Fortune 500 company 57%
2. A smaller established company 24%
3. An overseas competitor 16%
4. A recent startup 2%
CEOs on Leadership
• 94% of respondents agree with the statement “My company will change more in the next five years than it has in the last five years.”
• 84% agree with the statement “It would be easier to manage my company if it were a private company.”
• 67% say a public company has equal responsibility to customers, shareholders, employees, and the broader community.
• 51% think it’s important to take a stand on some public issues.
• 82% plan to employ more people two years from now.
• 75% of CEOs believe CEOs are paid appropriately.
• 76% of respondents think society will benefit “if employees take responsibility for their own health care and retirement.”
• 80% of CEOs say they directly answer all or most of their email.
• The average CEO has between four and 12 direct reports.
• More than 60% of respondents believe that optimal tenure atop a Fortune 500 company is five to 10 years.
Favorite Books of CEOs
Favorite book: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Runner up: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Leader most respected by CEOs
Winner: Ronald Reagan
Runners up: Winston Churchill and Warren Buffett (tie)