Welcome to the 2013 Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM), exploring the perceptions of 6,000 people in 12 countries on five continents regarding effective leadership, effective communication and the intrinsic link between the two.
Last year’s inaugural KLCM study revealed not only on an unambiguous crisis of confidence in leaders and how they are communicating, but also on a clear blueprint that leaders and their advisors can follow in rebuilding confidence. Essentially, a simple formula revealed by the research that leadership credibility hinges on a blend of decisive action, open communication and a leader's personal presence.
As uncertainty continues to be the new normal and leaders of all kinds remain under intense scrutiny, this year’s study is even more eye-opening and enlightening. Again providing practical counsel on the path to more effective leadership and leadership communication, it delves even deeper into the very real practical and commercial impact of effective leadership communication – but also the far greater risks inherent in getting it wrong.
Here’s some of what we found:
- Leadership and leaders’ communication remain firmly in crisis: Just 24% of people around the world believe leaders overall are providing effective leadership. And with open communication taking the #1 spot for the second year in a row as the most important attribute of effective leaders, the 24% fall in leaders’ communication performance gives real pause for thought.
- Business leaders come out top on accountability and long-term thinking, with politicians bottom on both: While the business community’s superior performance is very relative (only 34% rate business chiefs as effective leaders), the world of politics may have something to learn from the business community.
- Poor leadership directly hits sales: In 2012, 60% of people boycotted or bought less from a company due to poor leadership behaviour, with negative leadership perceptions creating a far greater drain on sales than positive perceptions enhance them.
- Employees outrank the CEO as credible corporate ambassadors: CEOs come a lowly 6th in the list of credible sources of information on a company. By contrast, employees who people know are the single most plausible ambassadors, making effective employee engagement more critical than ever.
- Gen-X marks the spot: An overwhelming 62% of people are looking beyond the Baby Boomers to leaders aged 35-50 to take over and define the future. Just 10% are pinning their hopes on 18-34 year-olds
- Take if from the techies: On every measure – leadership, communication and accountability – the technology sector leads the way, enjoying a 14 point gap over its nearest rival on leadership prowess and providing an interesting model for others.
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