European CEOs predict stronger focus on ethics over profits

by | Nov 7, 2019 | Public Relations

Chief execs in European countries believe that a greater focus on ethical, people-oriented leadership will be the new norm by 2025, according to new research from organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry.

In the survey of 163 CEOs in Europe, 94 percent say the CEO role will have a greater emphasis on moral/ethical leadership by 2025. In addition, 95 percent say that CEOs will shift from a single focus of profit to include greater emphasis on people and “planet.”

“CEOs realize that the business world cannot be guided by profits alone at the expense of ethics, fair treatment of people and environmental stewardship,” said Marie-Osmonde Le Roy de Lanauze-Molines, Korn Ferry senior client partner, in a news release. “It is increasingly critical that leaders guide with transparency and a focus on the greater good.”

Today’s leaders feel that the biggest driver emerging leaders need to succeed is the drive to make a difference in how business is done

The surveyed CEOs also indicate technological forces will have the greatest impact on how they do business in the coming years, followed by economic and political forces. When asked about their largest obstacle to obtaining their vision in the future, the CEOs cite a shortage of qualified talent.

Having a sense of mission and purpose is the most important factor to a CEO’s future success, according to the survey, followed by agility/openness to change, and a strong values set.

“There is no doubt that the business world of 2025 will be quite different from today, and it’s a positive sign that today’s European CEOs are seeing a shift to a broader view of what success will look like in the future,” said Le Roy de Lanauze-Molines.

In August and September 2019, Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) conducted the survey of 163 CEOs of both private and public companies across sectors in different European countries. The survey examined the characteristics and success factors these CEOs thought to be of importance for the next generation of CEOs in 2025. Due to rounding, responses may not equal 100 percent.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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