Executive Leadership Gets Failing Grade

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 06-02-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Business leaders are "losing the room" when it comes their credibility with consumers, according to a new survey from Ketchum. The accompanying Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM) report reveals that these consumers feel corporate senior officers are falling short on communication, trustworthiness and other qualities which define leadership. And many consumers are so turned off that they're refusing to purchase a company's products and services as a result. "[Leaders] need to avoid a 'macho,' command-and-control approach to leadership communication, which tends to be one-way, domineering and even arrogant," says Barri Friedman Rafferty, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum's North America operations. "Instead, we are seeing the birth of a new model of leadership communication based on transparency, collaboration, genuine dialogue, clear values and the alignment of words and deeds." As for how consumers form their impressions of an organization's leadership? You may be surprised to discover that traditional channels—as opposed to social media and blogs—are leading the way. More than 6,500 global consumers participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

 
 
 
  • Diminishing Returns

    27% of global consumers have less confidence in leaders today compared to 2013, as opposed to 17% who have more confidence.
    Diminishing Returns
  • Failing Grade

    Just 29% of global consumers say business CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and other top officers demonstrate effective leadership, down from 36% in 2012.
    Failing Grade
  • Communication Breakdown

    Only 35% say business leaders are effective communicators, and 74% say effective communications is "very" important for a leader.
    Communication Breakdown
  • Purchasing Power

    45% will stop buying a company's products and services based upon their negative impression of the company's leadership.
    Purchasing Power
  • Most Important Leader Attributes for Companies

    Trustworthiness: 50%, Quality products and services: 49%, Good customer service: 43%, Clear customer focus: 36%, Ethical business practices: 34%
    Most Important Leader Attributes for Companies
  • What Leaders Must Do in Times of Crisis

    Provide a clear and timely action plan to rectify the situation: 51%, Define the problem properly and commit to identifying real solutions: 49%, Accept an appropriate level of responsibility for the problem: 47%
    What Leaders Must Do in Times of Crisis
  • Most Credible Sources of Information about Companies

    Friends and family: 40%, Employees of that organization: 30%, Activists and consumer rights groups: 21%
    Most Credible Sources of Information about Companies
  • Credibility Gap

    Only 17% of global consumers consider the CEO to be a reliable source of information about a company, and 15% feel the sane way about other members of senior management.
    Credibility Gap
  • Top Influential Channels to Impact Sentiment on a Company's Leadership

    TV interviews: 49%, In-person speeches: 42%, Formal announcements: 34%
    Top Influential Channels to Impact Sentiment on a Company's Leadership
 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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