2015 Global Street Fight™ Study

The Global Street Fight™ was developed by G&S Business Communications as a thought-leadership platform to describe the current state of the global economy and the challenges facing today’s business, marketing and communications leaders as they compete for market share.  In light of this, chief executives face the dilemma of choosing the path to restore public confidence in their leadership abilities and strengthen their own reputations.

G&S and Harris Poll, now a unit of Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights to aid business decisions, teamed up to explore public perceptions of corporate leadership in today's environment, focusing on the areas of boldness, innovation and trust. The Global Street Fight™ Study 2015 was co-developed by Steve Halsey, G&S SVP and managing director, business consulting, in partnership with Harris Poll.

The results are insightful views of how the public sees the C-suite today.

In times of crisis, those who are highly informed and regularly participate in influential behaviors in both traditional and non-traditional media, described as "opinion elites," want corporate leaders who are accountable, honest and can deliver on promises.

And surprisingly, they are putting less weight on desiring leaders with previous experience handling crises.

Key findings include:

  • Opinion elites rated the following characteristics as very important when dealing with crises: Accountability at 89 percent, honesty at 86 percent and delivers on promises at 79 percent.
  • The characteristics opinion elites are least likely to describe as very important when dealing with a crisis are innovation at 49 percent and prior crisis experience at 50 percent.
  • Thirty-seven percent of opinion elites believe leadership at large companies is weaker today than five years ago, compared to 23 percent last year.
  • Fifty-six percent of opinion elites said senior leadership at large companies is more focused on short-term goals and only nine percent said leadership is more focused on long-term goals. Similarly, nine percent of the general public said that senior leadership is more focused on long-term goals. Thirty eight percent of the general public believes that leadership is more focused on short-term goals.
  • The majority (53 percent) of younger adults (age 18-44) feel a CEO’s main priority is to be bold and innovative.
  • Over the last two years, the opinion elites and general public have been split over whether the main priority of a CEO of a medium to large company is to be a successful risk manager or to be bold and innovative. A modern CEO is expected to be both.

​Scroll down to download full news release, study and supplemental infographics for the 2015 Global Street Fight Study.

“Today’s CEOs seem to be in a state of constant reputational triage, from managing earnings expectations to competitive differentiation to being accountable for what their employees say on social media,” said Steve Halsey, G&S SVP and managing director, business consulting. “As a result, we’re seeing a more nontraditional type of executive emerging. And it’s the opinion elites’ attitudes that are helping fuel some of these unexpected or ‘dark horse’ CEO appointments of late.”

“Opinion elites have decidedly fallen off the fence and are more likely to view senior leadership at large companies weaker today than five years ago,” said Carol Gstalder, SVP, practice leader, Reputation & Public Relations Solutions at Harris Poll. “Additionally, there was a significant decline in the percentage of opinion elites who view senior leadership today as innovative dropping from 66 to 55 percent. A challenge for today’s corporate leaders is how best to balance everyday crisis and risk management with the necessity to drive innovation.”

Free downloads of 2015 Global Street Fight Study, news release and supplemental infographics:

2015 Global Street Fight Study | 12th March 2015
Reputational Triage (Low Res) | 12th March 2015
Reputational Triage (Hi Res) | 12th March 2015
Crisis Expectations Driving New Breed of Leaders | 12th March 2015

Free access to archived 2014 Global Street Fight Study and images:

American Corporate Leadership at a Crossroads | 14th April 2014
News release
2014 Global Street Fight Study | 14th April 2014
The second edition of the Global Street Fight Study conducted for Gibbs & Soell by Harris Poll explores the intersection of boldness, innovation and trust among today's corporate leaders.
Who will take responsibility? (Infographic) | 14th April 2014
Who will lead? (Infographic) | 14th April 2014
Who will follow? (Infographic) | 14th April 2014
Who will fill the shoes? (Infographic) | 14th April 2014

Free access to archived 2013 Global Street Fight Study and image:

Global Street Fight Study | 2nd May 2013
Global Street Fight 1 | 2nd May 2013

Global Street Fight™ Study: Leadership Qualities

For more information about the Global Street Fight Study and thought-leadership program, please contact Mary C. Buhay at (212) 697-2600 or mbuhay@gscommunications.com.

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