Authentic leadership and the new CEO agenda

Today’s consumers have a complex view of authentic leadership and when and why they believe CEOs should take a public stance on complex issues such as public health, climate change, diversity (and diverse representation within a company’s workforce and its leadership).

Three-quarters (74%) report it’s important for CEOs to take a stand on issues that ‘reflect the collective views and actions of the organizations they lead’, while only 60% say CEOs should take a stand on issues that ‘are important to their own personal views and beliefs’.

65% say CEOs must speak up on issues that ‘may not have a significant impact on the business but have a significant impact on society’

We’ve had the ‘Rockstar CEO’, and the ‘Celebrity CEO’ but with nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents in our global Authenticity Gap research expecting the CEO to take a public stance on issues that ‘may not have a significant impact on the business but have a significant impact on society’, you could say that we’re entering the time of the ‘Goodwill Ambassador CEO’.

It’s clear that informed consumers want CEOs, and by extension the companies they lead, to support the issues that reflect their values.

Put simply, it’s not enough to just deliver on your role as the CEO of your business even though your organisation’s agenda might support societal progress.

The new question is, ‘What else? How else will you use your voice to improve the world?’

So what’s the answer for a busy CEO already under pressure, but now facing the weight of even more expectation to speak up on societal issues?

How do we stop CEOs from becoming the chief everything officer and laser in on the stands that are right to take?

Watch director of insight and strategy, Depali “Dee” O’Connell discuss the consumer expectation for authentic leadership and share three tips to help CEO’s be more of an advocate for true change that consumers expect.

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