Consultants See Shift In 'Good Boss' Traits

Compiled By Tonya Vinas Scandals and greedy goings-on in the corporate world have colored employees' perceptions of what it means to have a good boss, according to recent research released by Right Management Consultants, Philadelphia. In December the company asked 570 fulltime white-collar employees in the U.S., "What is the most important trait or attribute that the leader of your company should possess?" The five attributes cited most often included: honesty (24%), integrity/morals/ethics (16%), caring/compassion (7%), fairness (6.5%) and good relationships with employees (6%). These responses were generally consistent among male, female, black and white respondents, according to the company. The bottom five attributes included: creativity (1.2%), decisiveness (0.8%), flexibility (0.6%), good personality/sense of humor (0.5%) and attention to detail (0.4%). "I don't believe that employees are disregarding the need for such things as creativity and decisiveness," says Chris Pierce-Cooke, worldwide director for Right's organizational consulting practice. "But they are saying that CEO character is critical, as is the ethical tone he or she sets for the organization. "This study has important implications for companies when it comes to both hiring and developing leaders. The ideal leader will already have an internal moral compass that is guided by ethics and caring. Companies need to select those individuals carefully and then ensure their internal culture is one that nurtures and rewards that type of leadership."

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