CFO Survey Finds Integrity Most Desired Leadership Quality

MENLO PARK, CA -- The mark of a good leader may lie in his or her ability to be honest and upstanding, a new survey suggests.  Nearly one-third (31 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said the most important quality for a business leader to possess is integrity.  Experience and communication skills followed, each receiving 27 percent of the response.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world’s premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “Which of the following qualities do you feel is most important in business leaders today?”  Their responses:

Integrity   31%
Experience   27%
Communication skills   27%
Technical or functional expertise   11%
Other   2%
Don't know/no answer      2%

“History has shown the importance of integrity in all aspects of business, from managing assets to managing people,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.  “Corporate scandals of the recent past have underscored the need for sound corporate governance practices and transparency in financial reporting.”

McDonald added that leaders also must be effective communicators.  “Financial executives must be able to translate complex concepts into terms other audiences, from investors and board members to employees and the general public, can understand.  The ability to motivate and inspire also is crucial for fostering loyal and productive employees.”

Robert Half Management Resources has more than 140 offices throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com.



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