Article courtesy of Forbes via “The Rundown”
Women-in-charge like Jill Abramson and Mary Barra may have been through the metaphorical wringer of late, but it’s top-level female leaders who are best getting their message across, according to the third annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor, released today.
The survey tracked responses from more than 6,500 individuals around the world, examining perceptions of leaders in business, politics, community, non-profit, and union or organized labor organizations.
Business leaders claimed the greatest slice of admiration, but with a slim 29%. Political leaders ranked last, with 70% of respondents believing they failed to meet expectations.
And in a decided directional shift, female leaders around the world bested their male counterparts in five out of seven metrics of effective leadership.
The research focused on seven key traits of effective leadership, with women in leadership pulling ahead in five of those areas. In the top four-“leading by example,” “communicating in an open and transparent way,” “admitting mistakes,” and “bringing out the best in others,”-more than half of respondents felt that women leaders performed better than men.
A fifth metric-“handling controversial issues or crises calmly and confidently”-placed males and females at a similar 48% to 52%.
“Communication, collaboration, true transparency all rated much higher. That’s different than what worked in the past,” said Barri Rafferty, Ketchum CEO, North America.
But perhaps no one should be preparing for a woman in the Oval Office just yet. Fifty-four percent of respondents identified male leaders as the ones likely to steer global populations through the events of the next half decade.
Beyond the numbers, the data has important qualitative takeaways for leaders of both genders. Most significant: Macho is out, transparent communication is in.
“It’s not about a value judgment on either gender, it’s simply saying what matters to the world now is systematically being displayed more by female leaders than male leaders,” said Rod Cartwright, director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate & Public Affairs Practice.