How any leader can make an impact: PwC's Bob Moritz 

PwC's Bob Moritz

PwC's Bob Moritz: "You can't accept status quo" Image: PwC

Linda Lacina
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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It's not enough for leaders to just dream up big agendas. They must drive them - and evolve them - over time.

"You can't accept status quo," said Bob Moritz, PwC Global Chairman, in this week's Meet the Leader podcast. "You've got to create some stress. You have to compromise. You have to learn to not only listen, but act upon what you're hearing. You have to do things differently."


Effective leaders also know how to select the right challenges to tackle. "There's many different challenges out there in the world," said Moritz. "What are the ones you can control and have an impact on? What are the ones you can influence?"

Preparing tomorrow's leaders is a key focus for PwC. The firm, one of the 'big four' in accounting, committed $3 billion last fall to upskill its own workforce. As part of this 'New World. New Skills' initiative, the company is collaborating with UNICEF and Generation Unlimited to help ensure the training of 1.8 billion young people in countries around the world by 2030, bridging both digital and opportunity gaps.

Ensuring those leaders can better measure true success is also key. PwC is one of the big four that worked with the World Economic Forum's International Business Council to release a set of non-financial metrics to help companies gauge how they're addressing problems such as gender pay gaps and environmental protection and progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 'ESG' metrics, tackling environmental, social and governmental issues, help companies look ahead and understand how they are investing in the long-term.

"At some point we'll have another health issue," said Moritz. "We will have another economic issue. We're only finding our sails, you know. But we have to prepare our people to be better leaders for tomorrow to serve the societal needs that we're all grappling with right now."

Moritz discussed these topics - as well as what any leader must do to drive change - in this week's Meet the Leader, a fortnightly podcast diving into the habits and qualities leaders depend on the most.

Highlights of this episode

A habit he swears by: Virtual connections.

Moritz says he makes a point of reaching out to people in his personal network, from nieces and nephews to siblings, children and friends. He says these texts, phone calls and emails are key for breaking with the stresses of the day and letting people in your life know that you are thinking about them. He stresses that finding ways to recharge and reconnect is essential. "If it's 24-seven dealing with the challenges ahead of you, you'll go crazy," says Moritz, adding that we all understand that after 10 months of pandemic and lockdown.

This book, written by Blair H. Sheppard, Global Leader for Strategy and Leadership for the PwC network, outlines some of the top challenges gleaned from interviews with a range of people, from global leaders to taxi drivers. The book discovers that regardless of background, interviewees shared concerns over problems such as wealth disparity and technological disruption. The book describes how these problems provoked four major crises, analyzing each and offering sometimes counterintuitive solutions. Moritz says the book helped PwC refine its strategic thinking and find ways to take action. "To me, it was a great opportunity to encapsulate the challenges and then really get to the next steps of what do we do."

Articles he's written:

Listen to Meet The Leader's sister podcasts World Vs Virus, about the global pandemic, House On Fire, our 10-part environmental series, and The Great Reset, on the efforts to 'build back better'.

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