Executives in “the Zone” more Positive toward Diversity

Latest Leadership PulseFinds Those Who Experience Belonging, Equality also more Positive

LOS ANGELES--()--The latest edition of the Leadership Pulse survey of 200 leaders from firms around the world suggests clear links between executives who optimize their energy, leadership support for diversity, and how teams view their organizations’ diversity initiatives.

Key Leadership Pulse Findings:

  • Leaders who are “in the zone” – or reporting their optimal energy is close to their working energy – have more positive attitudes toward diversity;
  • People who report positive scores on diversity-related questions are experiencing belonging and equality at work, and their attitudes about diversity reflect their own personal and positive experiences at work.
  • As a result of being able to be open (not hiding who they are at work), their energy levels at work are more positive.

“We have been trending leadership energy and engaging them in learning through the pulse project since 2003,” said Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne, Affiliated Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Effective Organizations at the USC Marshall School of Business, Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute at The University of Alabama, and CEO of eePulse, Inc.

While instructive, this most current look at how individual leaders rate their working energy versus optimal energy does surface some concerning results. More than 52% of leaders are more than a full point away from their optimal level of energy. These individuals are at a greater risk of underperforming at work because they lack the level of energy necessary in order to be at their peak. When energy is consistently low, the effects can trickle-down to others and influence the performance of the entire organization. In comparison, only 32% of leaders surveyed reported that their energy was within half a point of their optimal level.

This Leadership Pulse also focused on diversity, belonging and equality. When examining different demographics, clear differences emerge in how these key aspects are viewed. Participants were asked nine questions on a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree).

“Creating situations where employees and leaders can reflect are all important steps in making the workplace more productive, open, innovative and inviting,” said Welbourne.

“The comment data showed that more extreme and emotional words were used when talking about equality. Business leaders, to some extent, are fearful of using this term,” said Welbourne. “They argue that they have worked for many years to create a merit-based system at work, and in this situation, not everyone is equal. Some people are higher performers than others.”

Additional information on these findings and other editions of Leadership Pulse are available at www.leadershippulse.com.

About the USC Marshall Center for Effective Organizations

Since its founding in 1979, the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO), at USC’s Marshall School of Business, has been at the forefront of research on a broad range of organizational effectiveness issues. CEO’s mission is to improve how effectively organizations are managed. It brings together researchers and executives to jointly explore critical organizational issues that involve the design and management of complex organizations. Its leading-edge research in the areas of organizational effectiveness and design has earned it an international reputation for research that influences management practice and makes important contributions to academic research and theory.

By actively involving companies as research partners, CEO’s research yields practical, data-based knowledge that enables companies to design and implement changes that improve their effectiveness and competitiveness. CEO’s research is the foundation for its educational and certificate programs.

About eePulse, Inc.

Since 2003, eePulse has been using our energy pulse technology to survey global business leaders on topics such as: Leadership energy, business confidence, employee engagement, change management, business drivers, and innovation.

Participants in the leadership pulse program receive a customized report that offers industry benchmarking and information on leadership trends. This information can be used to improve business practices and business performance on a global scale.


Matthew Simmons, USC Marshall Media Relations
213-821-9868 or  matthew.simmons@marshall.usc.edu



Matthew Simmons, USC Marshall Media Relations
213-821-9868 or  matthew.simmons@marshall.usc.edu