What People Want Out of Leaders Now
Employees want leaders to get back to matters of trust and stability
Despite some relatively optimistic data points in the past year or so—low unemployment, declining COVID numbers—executives are fielding a lot of stress in their workplace lately. Inflation and supply-chain issues aren’t entirely resolved; recession concerns still loom; hosts of industries are concerned that AI will termite into their business model, if it hasn't been doing so already.
For association executives who are leading not just their staffs but also the industries their members represent, it's become a time where reliability is key to soothing a lot of stakeholder anxiety. A report released last week by FTI Consulting underscores the point: People are looking for CEOs who prioritize workplace wellness and other measures that speak to stability. For instance, the percentage of employees who listed "financially minded" as a most-desired attribute in CEOs increased from 17 to 23 percent. And respondents said they want more transparency from leaders: The percentage citing “accessibility” as a key attribute leaped from 15 to 28 percent.
Gone, for the moment, is the emphasis on the CEO who’s simply "here to listen;" getting things done and being clear about it is now a priority. As the report puts it: "The desire for a 'Chief Empathy Officer,' which rose in importance during the pandemic amid increased health concerns, is behind us. Employees now indicate they want to see a CEO who is ethical, accessible and transparent."
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