Leadership Study Reveals Insights for Building Credibility and Presence

Trustworthiness Tops the List of Leadership AttributesBusiness executives ranked highest as leaders and communicators in a recent survey by global communications firm Ketchum.

Participants in the 12-country survey said this group was more effective than non-profit leaders, politicians and religious leaders.

Yet, despite an improvement from a year ago, it’s too soon for the C-suite to celebrate.

Falling short
Unfortunately, the survey found a wide gap between participants’ expectations and how leaders delivered against those expectations.

And sadly, more participants envision worsening leadership in 2012 than anticipate an improvement.

The leader-communicator
One key finding from the survey is how highly participants value good communication from leaders.

Among leadership attributes, 84 percent of participants rated effective communication as extremely important. And 48 percent rated effective communication as the single most important attribute.

Tips for success
Despite the crisis of confidence in leadership overall, Ketchum’s research points to useful insights. Its “blueprint for success” calls for leaders to combine decisive action with honest, transparent communication. Among the recommendations for leaders:

  • Share honestly about challenges facing the organization
  • Listen to key audiences, then analyze and adjust
  • Show you are trustworthy to be perceived as trustworthy, and
  • Understand the role personal presence plays in leadership credibility

Interestingly, the study found that traditional communication platforms still contribute strongly to creating a leader’s presence. Face-to-face, speeches, broadcast and print media are more effective in establishing credibility than advertising, social media and digital channels.

“When it comes to digital and social media, the message is that most people don’t believe that the leader is actually involved,” said Rod Cartwright, director, Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice.

Does the public’s perception of leaders really matter? In fact, there is a direct link between the public’s perception and the success of an organization.

When  the public perceives the leaders of a business in a positive light, they are more likely to purchase from that company, buy its stock or tell friends and family it’s a great place to work.

You’ll find the full Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor and resources here.

Now it’s your turn. If you had participated in the survey, would you have rated effective communication as the single most important leadership attribute?

You might also enjoy:

What “The Artist” Can Teach Us About Communications.

Advice on Leading and Succeeding the CEO-Way.

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
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1 Response to Leadership Study Reveals Insights for Building Credibility and Presence

  1. Pingback: My Leadership Manifesto: Creating a Purposeful Community Vision « Purpose N-Motion LLC.

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