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Dreaming of Reaching the C-Suite

Are you dreaming of rising through the ranks of your company and reaching the much-sought-after “C-Suite”? Click the link to discover how developing authentic confidence and engaging in self-care can help you to build the stamina and resilience needed to make it to the top!

Wishing you best,

Michael

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the Shortlist

This week, we follow up on happiness at work with tips on how authentic confidence will help you rise in the ranks. Plus, Matt Rogers, a senior partner in San Francisco, on how utilities should be preparing for climate change.
It’s summertime and the living is easy—unless your demanding job keeps you from wallowing in all those long days and even longer weekends.Last week the Shortlist asked if you were happy at work, noting how a resounding “yes” translates into broader well-being. This week we take a different tack, looking at how young leaders develop the stamina and resiliency today to make it to the C-suite tomorrow.Ambition and anxiety often coexist—remember the dread-slash-excitement at your last presentation? The challenge is learning how to handle stress and uncertainty without becoming overwhelmed. Companies can always introduce new management tools to enhance employee skills and develop their future workforces. But building longer-term resilience starts from within.Resilience requires the kind of confidence that’s founded on emotional flexibility. Young leaders can develop and maintain authentic confidence in six ways, including through mindfulness, or building the mental muscle needed for focus and peak performance; acceptance, or knowing you will have to step out of your comfort zone; and defusion, or handling angry colleagues or clients without taking it personally.Younger leaders also must develop a set of behaviors to influence their teams and broader organizations, including on alignment, execution, and renewal. The last on the list all too often gets short shrift, but it’s critical for leaders to succeed and for their organizations to thrive. So where to start with calming down?Go to bed. Of course, that’s not as easy as it should be. A McKinsey study of 196 business leaders found two-thirds were dissatisfied with the amount of sleep they get and 55 percent were unhappy with its quality. Here are three techniques to help get those ZZZ’s.
INTERVIEWAs cars go electric, wireless charging gets goingAlex Gruzen, the CEO of WiTricity—a Massachusetts-based start-up that designs systems to deliver power wirelessly to car batteries using a technology known as magnetic resonance—describes how convenient wireless charging could eliminate one of the major obstacles to widespread adoption of electric vehicles.“With wireless charging, you just park your car, and it starts charging. A charger that you might keep in your garage delivers the power to your car battery overnight or in two or three hours between trips,” he told McKinsey recently. “It happens in the background—it’s transparent to the user. You don’t have to think about it. And that makes for a fantastic customer experience.”
OFF THE CHARTSDynamism and its discontentsThe global machinery and industrial-automation sector has been in equilibrium for decades, with only small variations in revenue and market share. No longer. According to a recent survey, respondents expect a couple of emerging megatrends to force them to adapt their business models.
MORE ON MCKINSEY.‌COMScaling the AI heights | Conditions seem ripe for companies to succeed with AI. Yet many are falling short, with a majority only piloting AI or using it in a single business process—and thus gaining incremental benefits. We offer insights on why.From recovery to agility at Spark New Zealand | For the country’s incumbent telecom operator, embracing change has been a way of life since 2011, after it split from its fixed-access network. Three of Spark’s executives reflect on confronting challenges as a “leadership squad.”Climbing the insurance power curve | A small group of winners captures much of the economic profit in the insurance industry. Here’s what other insurers can do to catch up.
THREE QUESTIONS FORMatt RogersMatt Rogers, a senior partner in San Francisco, has more than 25 years’ experience in the energy sector, serving as the leader of McKinsey’s Electric Power & Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, and Sustainability Practices. He currently focuses on the restructuring of US power markets and the role of technology and innovation in reshaping market dynamics.
How should US utilities be thinking about the threat of climate change?The frequency and the cost to life and property of extreme weather events have increased in recent years. If such events become more common or intense, as the Fourth National Climate Assessment predicts, the costs will be even higher. Even now, some utilities are making investments in long-lived assets in risky locations, increasing system vulnerability and balance-sheet risk.Utilities are asset-heavy businesses that must maintain extensive and expensive infrastructures. Unless they become more resilient to extreme weather, those assets will be vulnerable—and so will the utilities. When homes are built in areas prone to wildfires, power companies follow, placing their own assets at higher risk. Many of the nation’s 8,625 power plants were deliberately sited near shorelines to have access to water. As a result, when hurricanes strike, power plants already face significant flooding damage.There are, of course, compelling environmental and social reasons to invest in mitigation efforts sooner rather than later. We believe there are also economic ones. Power utilities need to invest on the basis that the present is already riskier than expected and the future will be more volatile. There is also evidence that climate change adaptation can be cost-effective.What concrete steps should utilities take to mitigate that risk?Unless utilities become more resilient to extreme weather events, they put themselves at unnecessary risk, in both physical and financial terms. Repairing storm damage and upgrading infrastructure after the fact is expensive and traumatic. That’s why avoiding risk in the first place (for example, moving assets out of flood plains) is the biggest step.There are different ways for utilities to adapt, depending on their geographic circumstances and natural endowments. Hardening the grid refers to reinforcing the transmission and distribution infrastructure to prevent or reduce the damage from extreme weather events.However, grid hardening is expensive, and even an extensive program may not be enough to cope with the most extreme events. Other ways to build resilience and adaptability include nonwire options like decentralizing generation, battery storage, and the use of microgrids—a set of locally controlled loads and distributed-generation resources that can function apart from the centralized grid.Active management of the natural environment can provide utilities and other infrastructure owners with protection against extreme weather. Utilities should also consider the increased risk from climate change as they examine their daily operations, not just when they are considering long-term investments.Can utilities look outside the industry for help with resiliency strategies?The first line of defense is working with regulators to define an appropriate investment program—investing ahead of time and investing consistently will yield the highest return for utilities.They can also work with insurers and reinsurers to assess climate risk and adaptation strategies. The latter can then help them underwrite those risks after the utilities have made agreed-upon investments in modernizing their infrastructures.Public–private partnerships are another way to finance new investments in resiliency. One effort in Colorado is creating a demonstration solar-panel and battery-storage microgrid outside Denver. In the event of an outage, the microgrid would automatically be switched on, with power provided by an intelligent rooftop photovoltaic-battery system to keep critical services running. The project is also intended to improve the integration of renewable energy and to cope with peak demand.Finally, research institutions can help apply new ideas and strategies to a specific utility’s context.

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