South-Western - Management  
Honesty and Integrity Viewed as Top Leadership Traits
Topic Leadership
InfoTrac Reference A96236504
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Key Words Leadership traits, ethics
News Story

Right Management Consultants, a career transition and organizational consulting firm, conducted a survey of 570 full-time white collar employees in the U.S. The survey asked, "What is the most important trait or attribute that the leader of your company should possess?" The survey respondents cited 28 attributes.

The top 5 were:

1. honesty

2. integrity/morals/ethics

3. caring/compassion

4. fairness

5. good relationship with employees, including approachability and listening skills

Significantly, honesty was listed as the top trait by 38 percent of 55-64 year-olds versus only 16 percent of the 18 to 34 year-old group.

The bottom five attributes were:

1. creativity

2. decisiveness

3. flexibility

4. good personality/sense of humor

5. attention to detail

Employees today feel that an ideal leader will have an internal moral compass that is guided by ethics and caring.


Compare the traits listed above to the leadership traits discussed in your textbook. Do they coincide? If not, how do you explain the difference, taking into account today's business climate?

Source "Honesty and Integrity Viewed as Top Leadership Traits,"PR Newswire, Jan. 8, 2003.
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