“CEO 2030: What Are We Looking for in Our Leaders in the Future?” was one of the Monday plenary sessions. The discussion was moderated by Stephane Rousselet, Chair of WPC Young Professionals Committee, France. The key speakers were Azat Shamsuarov, Senior Vice President for Oil and Gas Production, LUKOIL, Marina Sedykh, CEO, Irkutskaya Neftyanaya Compania, Russia Cedric Cremers, Country Chair, Shell, Zhou Jiping, Former Chairman, China National Petroleum Corporation, and Vice President Membership, WPC, Zhakyp Marabayev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board for Production, KazMunayGas, Denise M. Cox, President 2018-2019, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

Management approaches evolve as the society does, so a future CEO will have to face many different situations, which today’s CEOs are not familiar with. Open-mindedness and willing to change the scope of the industry will be essential for meeting the challenges presented since we are following the course of a green energy development boosted by both society and regulations.

Each speaker had a limited time to present their view on the given topic based on personal and professional experience. Speakers focused mostly on Future Leaders crucial traits as well as on the future prospect of the Oil and Gas industry. The focus was put into industry transformation and sustainable development. In the end, the audience was allowed to ask questions to the speakers.

Azat Shamsuarov, Senior Vice President for Oil and Gas Production, LUKOIL, Russia, said that LUKOIL Company cooperates with different institutions and universities to involve teachers and professors into active work on the company’s projects.

“Leaders should be aware of the business. They should be able to answer questions such as: what is valuable in your company?”
Marina Sedykh started her presentation by defining the difference between manager and leader and provided a broad breakdown of the leader’s traits.

“What is the difference between leadership and management? The leader can develop you and manager will just support you. The manager focuses on systems and processes, the leader focuses on people. The manager asks how and when, the leader asks what and why?”, said Marina Sedykh.

Cedric Cremers, Country Chair Russia, Shell, Russia, wondered that the most important question that we have to ask ourselves: why am I doing it? If you can determine why and what for you are doing this? You have to define if the answer meets your needs. One of the main factors defining a leader will be a clear vision and emotional intelligence. Leader should create leaders. It is hard to define precisely what human being a future leader should be but there are key interpersonal traits that every leader should have in order to inspire his employees. Global thinking is also one of the most important traits.

In the changing environment of the industry driven by the energy transition, it is crucial for the leaders to adapt themselves to the new environment. There is a completely new energy system emerging, different from in the past.

“Future leaders of the petroleum industry are expected to be shapers, just like Steve Jobs. Our future leaders should be of a great vision to build consensus and act as a powerful driving force behind our industry. Our future leaders should stay firm and indomitable, fear no failure or pain, and strive for progress, growth and maturity amidst pains. Our future leaders should be passionate about their cause and remain determined and committed to excellence”, said Zhou Jiping, Former Chairman, China National Petroleum Corporation, Vice President Membership, WPC, China.

Zhakyp Marabayev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board for Production, KazMunayGas, Kazakhstan, said that in Kazakhstan they onboarded an innovative educational program called The Future. It has been around for 25 years and it supports the most talented young specialists that want to continue their education abroad. That way the new generation of young people will contribute to Kazakhstan innovative solutions that will turn around the entire landscape.