Executive’s Say It’s More Challenging to Be a Leader Today

Survey Reveals Worker Confidence in Company Leaders; Cities With Greatest Rise in Leadership Challenges

Leading a business is only getting harder, recent research found. In the Robert Half Management Resources survey, 66 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said it is more challenging to be a company leader today than it was five years ago. Just 4 percent of executives said the challenges have eased.

But research also found most managers enjoy support from their teams. Eighty-seven percent of workers surveyed expressed confidence in their leaders, including nearly half (47 percent) who said they are very confident.

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Cities Where Leadership Challenges Have Risen Most

Below are the cities where the difficulties of being in management have intensified the most over the past five years, based on the percentages of executives who said it is significantly or somewhat more challenging to be a company leader today.

1. Atlanta (75 percent)
2. Philadelphia (74 percent)
3. Seattle (71 percent)
4 (tie). Detroit (70 percent)
4 (tie). New York (70 percent)

Navigating the Changing Leadership Landscape

“Emerging trends, from the accelerated pace of change and disruptive innovations to dispersed workforces and regulatory compliance demands, have intensified the pressures facing company leaders,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Those at the helm must be proficient in their chosen field but also current on big-picture issues facing their industries and organizations.”

McDonald added strong managers also have allies in their employees. “Professionals understand how challenging managing a department or company can be and respect the work of their supervisors. Successful executives engage their employees, help them build their leadership skills and work to grow the business together.”

About the Survey

The research was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by independent research firms. The CFO survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The survey of workers includes responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers age 18 or over and employed in office environments.

About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies’ project and interim staffing needs.

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