HONEST MEASURE

Robert Half Management Resources Survey: CFOs Cite Integrity as Most Important Trait for Future Leaders

MENLO PARK, CA, Sept. 30, 2010 -- A strong moral compass can give high-potential managers a leg up the career ladder, a new Robert Half Management Resources survey suggests. One-third (33 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said that, other than technical or functional expertise, integrity is what they look for most when grooming future leaders. Interpersonal and communication skills also ranked high, cited by 28 percent of respondents.

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 more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, "Other than technical or functional expertise, which one of the following traits do you look for most when grooming future leaders at your organization?" Their responses:

Integrity

33%

 

Interpersonal/communication skills

28%

 

Initiative

15%

 

Ability to motivate others

12%

 

Business savvy

10%

 

Other/don't know

2%

 

 

100%

 
   

"History has shown time and time again the importance of ethics in business -- even a single lapse in judgment by one employee can significantly affect a company's reputation and its bottom line," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Leaders who are principled and forthright inspire this same behavior in their teams, creating a culture in which integrity is a core value."

McDonald pointed out that communication skills also are requisite as executives take on greater responsibility. "Especially during difficult periods, managers must be able to promote open, two-way communication with their teams," he said. "Executives in companies that have moved successfully through the downturn understand the importance of listening intently to feedback from employees and are always on the lookout for this skill in potential leaders."

About the Survey
The national study was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow Robert Half Management Resources at twitter.com/roberthalfmr for workplace news.


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