Jobs and the Future of Work

This is how CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies spend their time

A tie hangs from an empty chair on a trader desk after the end of a trading day at the Frankfurt stock exchange August 12, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Domanski (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E78D02RY01

The life of a CEO can be stressful. Image: REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Jeff Desjardins
Founder and editor, Visual Capitalist
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Jobs and the Future of Work?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of Work is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of Work

It’s easy to be envious of the leaders of Fortune 500 companies.

They get paid millions of dollars, and they have the power to make transformative decisions for some of the most beloved companies in the corporate world.

Despite the obvious benefits of being a top CEO, it’s a job that comes with immense pressure, scrutiny, and time commitments. Further, the lack of work-life balance can take a toll on physical and mental health, while putting a considerable strain on relationships.

What’s a day in the life of a CEO like, and how do they deal with the constant demands of the top job?

A Day in the Life

Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it breaks down the CEO role in terms of tasks and priorities. It also provides an interesting glimpse at how CEOs tackle the difficulties of the job, while maintaining some semblance of sanity.

Image: Raconteur

To start, we’ll look at how these business leaders allocate their time, according to research from Harvard Business School.

Time allocation of CEOs:

  • Functional and business unit reviews (25%)
  • People and relationships (25%)
  • Strategy (21%)
  • Organization and culture (16%)
  • Operating plans (4%)
  • Mergers and acquisitions (4%)
  • Professional development (3%)
  • Crisis management (1%)

The above data comes from CEOs who manage companies with an average revenue of $13.1 billion per year, and the focus of these top performers is pretty clear.

About half of time is spent on the analytical side of the spectrum, doing things like evaluating the success of business units or working on company strategy. Roughly the other half of time is spent on people, either on growing relationships or transforming organizational culture.

Have you read?

The Big Challenges

Managing a multi-billion dollar company isn’t without its potential setbacks.

Here are what CEOs described as the biggest unexpected challenges in their roles:

  • Driving cultural change (50%)
  • Finding time for myself and for reflection (48%)
  • Developing my senior leadership team (47%)
  • Balancing short-term financials with longer-term company transformation (40%)
  • Managing the impact on my family/personal life (35%)
  • Maintaining my physical health (31%)
  • Engaging with external stakeholders (25%)
  • Engaging with internal stakeholders (23%)
  • Managing my stress levels (20%)
  • Connecting with my peers (18%)

To deal with the many stresses and challenges of the position, many CEOs have turned to personal care and coaching. In fact, 60% of CEOs exercise multiple times a week, 50% have a personal trainer, 32% have a wellness coach, 32% have an executive coach, and 22% have a therapist.

After all, CEOs know likely more than anyone else that to stay in top form, their minds and bodies need to be performing as well.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Jobs and the Future of WorkWellbeing and Mental HealthEmerging TechnologiesEducation and Skills
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Talent trends in Asia: How to boost workforce productivity and well-being

Peta Latimer and Catherine Li Zhaoqi

June 20, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum