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Short-termist Politicians Can Learn From Forward-thinking Business Leaders

NEW YORK, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Business leaders come out on top for accountability and long-term thinking – politicians rank at the bottom on both
  • Poor leadership directly impacts sales – in 2012, 60 percent of consumers boycotted, or bought less from, a company due to negative leadership perceptions
  • Employees outrank the CEO as credible corporate ambassadors
  • Technology industry is the role model of corporate behavior on every measure
  • Europe is the most disillusioned with its leaders – just 15 percent credit them with effective leadership, 14 percent for taking responsibility for when they fall short
  • 62 percent are looking beyond the Baby Boomers and others to Gen-X leaders to take over and define the future
  • Open communication tops the list of leadership attributes for the second year running – but leaders' communications effectiveness drops 24 percent year-on-year globally

Politicians who fail to act with long-term interests in mind can learn from forward-thinking business leaders, according to a new global survey. Sixty-one percent of people around the world see business leaders as focused mainly on the long-term, countering stereotypes that corporations are obsessed with the next quarter's profits. Business chiefs also come out on top for taking responsibility when things go wrong. Politicians, by contrast, trail behind all other leadership categories on both measures – 60 percent of those surveyed view them as short-term focused – suggesting the world of politics has much to learn from the business community.

This is a key finding of the second annual Ketchum Leadership Communications Monitor, a global study which polled 6,000 people in 12 countries on leadership, communication and the link between them.

Business leaders still have ample room for improvement despite attaining the highest scores in almost every area. Of those polled, only 34 percent view business chiefs as effective leaders and just 35 percent believe they are effective communicators. Business leaders experienced the largest drop (13 points) on open, transparent communication –  the No. 1 leadership attribute for the second year running – with leaders overall seeing a 24 percent drop in their communication score.

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