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  • This fortnightly podcast from the World Economic Forum features the world’s top changemakers, showcasing the habits and traits effective leaders can’t work without.
  • The CEO of Boston Consulting Group discusses lessons from three decades at the firm, the signals that prompt teams to tackle big challenges - and what’s really needed to make progress on the climate.

Today's leaders tackle a host of unexpected challenges - from the climate to the pandemic. The organizations best poised to address those problems, says Rich Lesser, Boston Consulting Group's CEO, are the ones that understand the value of collaboration.

Collaboration doesn't just help individuals and organizations swiftly share knowledge and make change happen. Solutions for the climate will require system-wide changes - and government and business to work together like never before.

Leaders have an important role in making any collaboration successful, says Lesser. Teams watch for signals to understand what's most important to an organization, especially when deciding to pursue short term wins over longer-term gains.

Other signals - like how success is measured - play a part. For instance, when success is measured by how well a team performs, it's easier to build a mindset that's not pre-occupied with individual success.

Collaboration that scales impact and sparks fast change will require continuous learning. That process is critical for every person in an organization, including the leader, who must continually seek out new voices and welcome challenging ideas.

"All our organizations need to learn at a faster pace than ever before, but the people who need to learn the most are the people at the top," says Lesser. "And the risk is the highest for us because there's a natural bubble around CEOs."

In the latest episode of Meet the Leader, Lesser explained how leaders can bust through those bubbles, discussing how he keeps up-to-date on issues like the climate and the mindset that helps him seek out new opportunities to drive change.

"It's about having a sense of exploration and a commitment to finding ways that you can make a distinctive difference. And each one of us can," says Lesser. "But what that means for each one of us is a different thing."

He also details how BCG is cutting its own emissions, the research excites him and the opportunities for other leaders looking to scale impact for the climate.

Says Lesser: "The role that companies can play is much more sometimes than they realize."

Learn more about Lesser - and how he's changed as a leader in his three decades at BCG - on the latest episode of Meet the Leader.

Articles by Rich:

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