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Feeling and Dealing: The Changing Face of Leadership Communications

by | Sep 16, 2022

Seismic events of the past few years — including a pandemic, racial unrest, polarized politics and geopolitical uncertainty — have resulted in a marked shift in leadership style in the C-suite. Many are operating in an environment that’s fundamentally different than the one that existed when they began their careers. This requires them to show up — and communicate — in new ways as they seek to build resilience to change, foster more engagement and loyalty, and navigate complex social issues.

It’s more than anecdotal. We recently conducted a three-part study that included a survey of 100 senior leaders and company owners and 1,000 employed adults, along with in-depth interviews with 25 C-suite leaders. The fundamental shift in how leaders are showing up and communicating has implications for those who sit alongside them and advise them at the leadership table.

C-suite Survey: Leadership qualities that are increasing in importance (vs. 2 years ago)
Social Issue Advocacy: 80%
Empathy: 76%
Flexibility: 73%
Vulnerability: 70%

Matt Kucharski, President of Padilla helps clients across a wide range of industries build, grow and protect their brands and reputations. Throughout his nearly 35 years in the field, he has been a continuous trend watcher, learner, educator and innovator — helping the agency
and clients stay ahead of “what’s next.”

Today’s Leaders Are Saying:
“People want transparency — but the reality is that most people don’t look good naked.”
“Humility can be uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable.”
“I’m reminding people that there are two kinds of change —change that happens to us and change that we drive. The former is scary — the latter is energizing.”

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