eePulse Finds Corporate Leaders’ Confidence at Five-Year Low

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<strong>Ann Arbor, Mich. </strong><br />A survey of 899 corporate leaders and managers finds their on-the-job confidence and energy are waning, suggesting the difficult business climate is taking a toll.<br /> <br />&ldquo;Our research has shown that corporate leadership&rsquo;s confidence and energy level are predictive of business performance, so these declines are troubling,&rdquo; said Theresa Welbourne, Ph.D., president and CEO of eePulse Inc., the human resources consulting firm that conducted the survey.<br /> <br />The survey is part of the Leadership Pulse, an ongoing Web-based initiative that continually monitors and reports on workplace energy and confidence levels and provides insights into critical business challenges facing corporate leaders. <br /><br />Executives and managers respond to short bi-monthly Leadership Pulse surveys that enable their companies to compare themselves with peers, identify trends, anticipate emerging problems and opportunities, and make well-informed decisions. <br /> <br />On Feb. 25, respondents rated their energy level on a 10-point scale. The average response was 6.45, down from 6.73 on Sept. 28. <br /> <br />Leadership confidence has been tracked annually since 2003, and the overall trend continues downward, moving from 3.98 in 2003 to an all-time low of 3.61 in late February 2008. The overall confidence index declined 0.04 from 2007 to 2008, with the greatest declines occurring in two categories: confidence in general economic conditions affecting the respondents&rsquo; business and confidence that the respondents&rsquo; organizations have the right people and skills in place. <br /> <br />Nearly one in five respondents described themselves as overly energized, somewhat energized or not energized, extreme positions that represent a high-risk of diminished performance, turnover and burnout.<br /> <br />&ldquo;Over the last year, we have reported to our clients about warning signs in data from leaders whose energy is what we call &lsquo;below the zone,&rsquo;&rdquo; Welbourne said. &ldquo;Executives say they are working at personal energy levels at which they are less productive due to uncertainty, lack of having the right people in the right jobs, continuing stress at work and other issues. &ldquo;<br /> <br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not surprising that this pattern of suboptimal energy coincides with lower confidence. The challenge for corporate boards is to track these issues within their organizations so they can head off problems.&rdquo;<br />

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