How I Lead in an Uncertain World – Aldo Govi, CEO, Infineum

March 4, 2024
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How I Lead in an Uncertain World

Guest Post: Aldo Govi, CEO, Infineum

In the face of ongoing global turmoil, heightened levels of political and business uncertainty will test leadership in 2024 and beyond. When COVID-19 began to spread worldwide in 2020, many of my colleagues asked, “What could be worse?” It turns out COVID-19 was just the beginning of rapid, fundamental change unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Today, leadership faces pressure from fundamental changes that previously would have been considered outside the business realm—war (or the threat of) in several geopolitical spheres, competition between the U.S. and China, climate change, and sociopolitical disruption as young people campaign for changes in wages, working conditions, and financial opportunities. Some refer to this as a “new normal,” but I believe “normal” is far behind us. Change is accelerating, and the pressures on leadership are increasing.

These massive challenges call for substantive action by business leaders. Before we act, however, we need to revisit three vital areas for business success and leadership on the world stage: purpose, values, and self-awareness.

Lead With Purpose

Even amidst rapid change and shifting priorities, our purpose remains the lighthouse guiding us. Aligning our actions with our purpose clarifies both internal and external communications. Focusing on the “big picture”; inspires inside and outside our organizations, fosters a culture of belonging, promotes collaborative innovation, and increases buy-in for our decisions, even the most difficult ones. At Infineum, our purpose is clear: “We exist to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.”

Lead With Values

As CEO, I confront a daily paradox: the need to stay true to my values amid complex, contradictory, and rapidly changing information and circumstances. Despite the risk, I remain proactive, knowing that my values will guide every decision toward success. My values include honesty, inclusion, agility, and social responsibility. I prioritize honesty with employees, customers, the business community, and the wider world. I advocate for inclusion whenever possible, strive for agility in positioning Infineum to sustain itself in challenging times, and confidently move when opportunities arise. Long-term considerations guide my decisions, acknowledging their ramifications for generations to come. Staying true to my values streamlines nearly everything for Infineum and me.

Lead With Self-Awareness

“Know thyself” remains a guiding motto—everything is constantly changing around you and within you. Leaders must evolve daily. Self-awareness serves as a beacon, leading to personal growth, acceptance, and humility. Self-aware leaders listen to alternative viewpoints, allow others to shine, and gather informal advisors who can provide honest feedback. Self-awareness keeps us honest and aligned with our purpose.

Lead On!

Upon becoming CEO in 2023, I was surprised by two things: the potential for damage due to a lack of leadership in the wider world and the magnitude of the impact of strong leadership on Infineum’s success. External forces continue to present challenges, but through honesty, positivity, and community, we are growing stronger. As a CEO, you can fake it or lead it—for me, the choice is obvious.


In his role as CEO, Aldo Govi focuses on maintaining Infineum’s leadership position in sustainable transportation while diversifying into energy applications to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company—all of which drives Infineum’s purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry. Govi has almost 30 years of experience in the lubricant additives industry and has been a member of the Infineum senior executive committee since 2016. Before becoming CEO, he held several senior leadership positions, including chief operating officer, EVP commercial, EVP business growth and strategy, president of Infineum USA, EVP sales, business director for the lubricants segment, and sales director for the EMEA region.