Friday, November 18, 2005

Shoving the job.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 15, 2005--Business leaders
continue to approach the CEO position with apprehension, according to
a new global study conducted by Burson-Marsteller with the Economist
Intelligence Unit (EIU). The 2005 CEO Capital(TM) research reveals
that executives are now thinking twice about the corner office, with
54 percent of global business influentials reporting they would not
want to be CEO if given the choice.
The highest levels of CEO disillusionment are found in North
America and Europe (64 percent and 60 percent would decline a CEO
offer, respectively). Asia/Pacific business influentials (51 percent)
are divided about seeking the CEO role and Latin Americans are the
least negative - only 27 percent do not want to be CEO.

Why Not Be CEO?

For the first time, global business influentials were asked their
reasons for wanting or not wanting to be CEO. The overriding factor in
choosing not to be CEO is the absence of a positive work/life balance.
More than six out of 10 respondents (64 percent) cite this reason as
the leading obstacle to pursuing the corner office. Other barriers
cited are the tyranny of quarterly earnings, persistent stress and
intense public scrutiny. Interestingly, global business influentials
are less likely to cite the actual pressures of running a business -
regulatory oversight, cost-cutting, talent development, stakeholder
demands and critical media - as leading reasons for turning down the
CEO position if offered.
"CEOs today are increasingly challenged by time zones, global
markets, unpredictable crises and an expanding portfolio of
stakeholders demanding attention," said Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross,
Burson-Marsteller's Chief Knowledge & Research Officer Worldwide and
the study's architect. "Not until companies train the next generation
of leaders to better balance work/life pressures will executives
clamor for the top job."

So Why Be CEO?

Although generous compensation, perks and prestige dominate
headlines worldwide, they are among the least compelling reasons given
by global business influentials for wanting to be CEO. The top three
reasons for wanting to be CEO are the opportunity for complex
problem-solving (56 percent), ability to have a personal impact on the
business (43 percent) and satisfaction of having their ideas
implemented (36 percent). A sizeable number of global business
influentials also cite helping a company go from "good to great" (33
percent) and building a company that lasts (26 percent) as primary
reasons for seeking the corner office.
"All businesses today are in dire need of talented, ethical and
credible leaders. The reluctance of many senior executives to accept
the top slot will continue to impact efforts to restore overall trust
in companies across the globe," said Patrick Ford, Burson-Marsteller's
Global Corporate/Financial Practice Chair. "The demand for leaders
continues to expand. Continued success in global commerce lies in the
willingness of upcoming qualified CEOs to take calculated risks, roll
up their sleeves and execute on the details."
Burson-Marsteller's new research highlights the need to have
willing executives in line to succeed outgoing CEOs. As we witness a
rapidly rising CEO departure rate (a Fortune 1000 CEO departs every
two business days, www.ceogo.com), the need has never been greater to
build the next generation of global leaders.

About the 2005 CEO Capital Study

Burson-Marsteller has been conducting landmark research on CEO and
corporate reputation since 1997 (www.ceogo.com). The new 2005 CEO
Capital study was conducted in 65 countries online with the Economist
Intelligence Unit (EIU) between May and July 2005. It was completed by
685 business influentials -- CEOs, senior executives, financial
analysts, business media and government officials. Roughly one-third
of respondents came from North America (26 percent), Europe (32
percent), Asia-Pacific (32 percent) and one-tenth from Latin America
(10 percent). Participants were drawn from a cross-section of 19
industries.

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