NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The public is evenly split 50-50 on whether today’s CEOs should be bold and innovate to drive business forward, or focus on risk management to ensure safe and consistent performance, according to The Global Street Fight™ Study conducted by Gibbs & Soell and Harris Interactive.
In these stagnant economic times, there are signs that the public wants leadership to be more ambitious, with three times as many Americans saying senior leadership at large companies is weaker than stronger today as compared to five years ago, and four times as many Americans saying senior leaders are more focused on short-term goals than the long term as compared to five years ago.
Gibbs & Soell, a global business communications firm, and Harris Interactive, one of the world’s leading research-based consultancies, teamed up to explore public perceptions of corporate leadership, evaluating the areas of boldness, innovation and trust. The online poll was conducted between April 24 and April 26, 2013 among 2,068 U.S. adults age 18 and older.
“There is a glimmer of hope for CEOs as the news is not all bad,” said Steve Halsey, principal and managing director, business consulting, Gibbs & Soell. “Rather than waiting for the perfect circumstances to drive their business forward, the public expects leaders to know when it is time to be bold and gives them permission to do so. Those CEOs who can be bold and innovate in a way that still ensures solid business performance, and can effectively communicate this ‘trifecta’ to the general public, will reap tremendous rewards.”
“The public is looking for leaders that combine purpose and performance. Social value combined with outperforming the market has become the formula for success for corporations today,” said Robert Fronk, executive vice president of reputation management, Harris Interactive. “In spite of all the things going against them – a tough economic environment, typically short tenure and tremendous erosion in public trust – the majority of Americans still view leaders of large companies as being bold and innovative. But traits and actions are very different things and there is clearly room for improvement in aligning the two.”
Key findings include:
- 30 percent of U.S. adults say senior leadership at large companies is weaker today than five years ago, compared to only 10 percent who think senior leadership is now stronger today.
- 43 percent of U.S. adults say senior leadership at large companies is now more focused on short-term goals as compared to five years ago. Only 10 percent believe senior leaders are now more focused on long-term goals.
- The public views strategic thinking (75 percent), innovation (73 percent), and risk-taking (62 percent) as the strongest attributes of “a bold leader” versus confrontation, ruthlessness, and stubbornness.
- Age, employment status, and investible assets play a major role in determining views on boldness, risk, and trust.
To obtain a summary of the Global Street Fight Study and view supplemental content, please visit the Gibbs & Soell website.
The Global Street Fight™ Study
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Gibbs & Soell from April 24-26, 2013 among 2,068 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Mary Buhay or Kyle Kuhnel.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
About Gibbs & Soell, Inc.
Gibbs & Soell, Inc. is an independent business communications firm with headquarters in New York and offices in Chicago, Raleigh, N.C., and Basel, Switzerland. The firm’s global network extends across nearly 40 countries through its PROI Worldwide partnership. Gibbs & Soell integrates business and communications strategies, using a full range of communications services, to build sustainable relationships for clients along the entire value chain. We inspire action that drives results. For more information, please visit www.gibbs-soell.com.