Harvard Business School Professor Len Schlesinger: ‘How Does the CEO Spend His Time?’

CEO box

CEOs on INNOVATION
This interview is from our CEOs on Innovation report, in the Fall 2017 issue of Innovation Leader magazine.
Len Schlesinger is a professor at Harvard Business School and author, most recently, of the book “What Great Service Leaders Know and Do.” Schlesinger has previously served as President of Babson College; Vice Chairman and COO of the retailer Limited Brands; and COO of the bakery-café chain Au Bon Pain.

Which Box is the CEO Living In? The most basic question, when I think about the CEO’s role, is how he or she spends their time.

If you have 100 points, how much time do you spend in the here and now; how much in the adjacent two to three years; and how much time do you spend thinking further out than three years. Everyone has three boxes, or three horizons, in their framework. My colleague Vijay Govindarajan calls them Box 1, Box 2, and Box 3.

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