Kelly Grier has always used her runs as thinking time. These days, the Ernst & Young senior executive has a lot to think about. “It’s an extraordinary time to be a leader,” she says. “I have more than 80,000 people relying on me.”

Ms. Grier creates a mental to-do list for her runs. “It could include a decision I want to deliberate over, a letter I need to craft, a speech I need to write, a topic to discuss with my core stakeholders,” she says. “It’s always a mix of personal and professional.”

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