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Robert Half International Inc.


Executives Say It’s More Challenging to Be a Leader Today

Survey reveals level of worker confidence in company leaders

Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 17:27

Leading a business is only getting harder, recent research found. In the Robert Half Management Resources survey, 66 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said it is more challenging to be a company leader today than it was five years ago. Just 4 percent of executives said the challenges have eased.

But research also found most managers enjoy support from their teams. Eighty-seven percent of workers surveyed expressed confidence in their leaders, including nearly half (47%) who said they are very confident.

Cities where leadership challenges have risen most

Below are the cities where the difficulties of being in management have intensified the most during the past five years, based on the percentages of executives who said it is significantly or somewhat more challenging to be a company leader today.
1. Atlanta (75%)
2. Philadelphia (74%)
3. Seattle (71%)
4. (tie) Detroit (70%)
4. (tie) New York (70%)

Click here for larger image.

Navigating the changing leadership landscape

“Emerging trends, from the accelerated pace of change and disruptive innovations to dispersed workforces and regulatory compliance demands, have intensified the pressures facing company leaders,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Those at the helm must be proficient in their chosen field but also current on big-picture issues facing their industries and organizations.”

McDonald added strong managers also have allies in their employees. “Professionals understand how challenging managing a department or company can be and respect the work of their supervisors. Successful executives engage their employees, help them build their leadership skills, and work to grow the business together.”

Robert Half Management Resources also detailed seven challenges facing leaders today and the attributes needed to address them on its blog.

About the survey

The research was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by independent research firms. The CFO survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The survey of workers includes responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers age 18 or older and employed in office environments.


About The Author

Robert Half International Inc.’s picture

Robert Half International Inc.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. RHI has consulting and staffing services offices worldwide including North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. RHI is the parent company of Protiviti, a global consulting and internal audit firm specializing in risk and business consulting and internal audits. OfficeTeam is a division of RHI and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. OfficeTeam’s specialized staffing divisions place professionals in the finance and accounting, information technology, legal, administrative, and marketing and creative industries.