Feb 3rd, 2021

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


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.

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.

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.

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