Infographic: Are our Political Leaders better than others?

This is not a political blog. However, I think this infographic and Press Release might interest many people with more people questioning the leaders on the steps to take. Read the Press Release on some interesting findings. Please click on the image to see the PDF version.


Click Here for the PDF Version

And here is the Press Release. Some may not agree, I guess.

Political Leaders in Singapore Still Better-Regarded Than Counterparts in Other Parts of the World

Singaporeans find politicians are the most effective leaders for second consecutive year, according to Ketchum’s Leadership Communication Monitor

  • Singaporeans feel political leaders are the most effective, in contrast to jaded views of politicians in Europe and the Americas
  • Effective leadership communication has a direct impact on business performance and sales
  • 32% of Singaporeans feel the technology industry demonstrates the most effective leadership among businesses
  • Singaporeans want clear action and real solutions
  • Transparency and honesty are paramount for credible leadership

SINGAPORE, March 21, 2013 – More than one third (35%) of Singaporeans still view their politicians as the most effective leaders, with 75% having the same level of – or more – confidence in them, compared to a year ago. This is in stark contrast with the overall findings of the second annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM), which reveals that just 21% of their counterparts across the Americas and Europe feel politicians are effective leaders, with little hope that winds of change will invigorate the leadership doldrums. The KLCM is a global study which polled 6,000 people in 12 countries on leadership, communication and the link between them.

One of most striking findings of the study is that effective leadership communication has a direct impact on business performance and sales. In 2013, 54% of Singaporeans said that they purchased less of a company’s products and services because of poor perceptions of the behavior that company’s leadership during the last year (compared with 60% globally), while 46% purchased a company’s products and services for the first time, for the same reason.

Singaporeans also feel political leaders make tough decisions (47%) and handle controversial issues or crises calmly and confidently (46%) more so than other countries (36% and 35% globally, respectively). Political leaders here are also seen to be more focused on long term considerations, with 69% of Singaporeans giving a positive rating, compared to 40% of respondents elsewhere. In Singapore, 32% expect leaders to take appropriate responsibility when they or their organization fall short of expectations, compared to just 19% of respondents in other countries. At a time of crisis, 57% of Singaporeans expect leaders to provide a clear and timely action plan to rectify the situation, define the problem properly and commit to identifying real solutions.

Among businesses, 32% of Singaporeans think leaders of technology companies provide the most effective leadership, with banking (28%) in second place. Globally, 43% of respondents rated the technology industry as the best-led industry sector.

In Singapore, 30% of respondents feel banks take most responsibility when they or their organization fall short of expectations, followed by technology companies (29%). In terms of communicating, 43% of Singaporeans rate the media industry highest in effectiveness, followed by technology companies (38%) and banks (36%).

The number of Singaporeans citing effective communication as the most important attribute of great leadership has fallen from 80% a year ago to 70% in 2013. The ability to communicate in an open and transparent way, lead by example, and willingness to admit mistakes are considered important attributes for effective leaders by 61% of Singaporeans, with the first two attributes most likely to continue grow in importance for effective leadership over the next decade.

Consistent with sentiments from a year ago, 64% of Singaporeans want their leaders to be open and honest about the nature and scale of the challenges ahead, in order for them to be able to restore confidence during rapidly changing times. More than half (55%) also hope leaders can provide a clearer overall vision for how economies, businesses and other organizations can survive the economic crisis.

Global Findings

In other parts of the world, the global leadership crisis continues as leaders remain to be seen as ineffective, particularly in Europe. While business and non-profit leaders perform relatively well, political, union and community leaders are viewed far less favorably.
61% of people around the world see business leaders as focused mainly on the long-term, countering stereotypes that corporations are obsessed with the next quarter’s profits. Business chiefs also come out on top for taking responsibility when things go wrong. Politicians, by contrast, trail behind all other leadership categories on both measures – 60 percent of those surveyed view them as short-term focused – suggesting the world of politics has much to learn from the business community.

Business leaders still have ample room for improvement despite attaining the highest scores in almost every area. Of those polled, only 34 percent view business chiefs as effective leaders and just 35 percent believe they are effective communicators. Business leaders experienced the largest drop (13 points) on open, transparent communication – the No. 1 leadership attribute for the second year running – with leaders overall seeing a 24 percent drop in their communication score.

Poor leadership communication is directly affecting corporate performance and sales. In the past year, 60 percent of people stopped buying, or bought less, from a company due to poor perceptions of the behavior of those in charge. Leadership failure also hits the bottom line far harder than good leadership enhances it.

Poor leadership perceptions led 51 percent of respondents to buy less of a firm’s products and services, and 44 percent to boycott it – while positive leadership perceptions prompted only 36 percent of respondents to buy more and 42 percent to start buying. People also view employees and third-party analysts as the most credible representatives of an organization, ahead of senior leaders, with the CEO and other senior management coming in a lowly sixth and joint seventh place from among 12 sources of trustworthy information.

Overall, one in four said leaders in general were demonstrating effective leadership, and there is a 21-point gap between expectations of leaders and their ability to meet them.

This cynicism is strongest in Europe, where only 8 percent are more confident that leaders will be effective in 2013, just 16 percent believe leaders are effective communicators, and only 14 percent credit European leaders for taking appropriate responsibility when they fall short of expectations.

“This year’s data shows a striking gap between leaders’ words and deeds, as well as the impact of that gap on the company’s sales and reputation,” said Rob Flaherty, senior partner and CEO, Ketchum. “At the same time, the fact that employees at large currently carry far greater credibility as company ambassadors than senior management cannot be ignored.”

While confidence that leadership will improve in 2013 remains fragile, the study clearly shows a desire globally for a different breed of open, collaborative, consultative leadership, which balances leading by example with the humility to admit mistakes. And “Generation-X” leaders, aged 35 to 50, are the community the world has in its sights, with 62 percent globally looking to them to shape the future.

If leaders in any industry serve as a role model, the technology sector is setting the standard, performing highest on every measure and enjoying an overwhelming 14 percentage point advantage over its nearest rivals on leadership prowess. The leaders in the technology industry also comes out on top on both communications effectiveness – 44 percent rate those in the sector as impressive communicators – and taking responsibility when their industry falls short, with 34 percent scoring them strongly.

Rod Cartwright, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice, said: “In 2012, we found that leadership credibility hinged on a combination of open and transparent communication, decisive action and the personal presence of the leader. With the crisis of leadership and communication continuing to have a direct commercial impact, our 2013 study shows that this formula for establishing meaningful, authentic leadership remains as robust as ever and will only grow in importance over the coming decade.”

Visit for additional survey information and materials.

ICON International Communications is the exclusive affiliate for Ketchum Public Relations in Singapore Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

About the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor

Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and Ipsos Observer, a worldwide strategic business line within Ipsos, conducted an online survey of 6,000 respondents in 12 markets from Dec. 21, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013. These were the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, China, Singapore, India, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Brazil. The global margin of error is +/-1.3 percent. The research explored respondents’ views of both different categories of leader (business, political, community, non-profit and union/labor organization) and of 18 vertical industries.

About Ketchum

Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Named 2012 PR Agency of the Year (PRWeek and European Excellence Awards) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., visit

About Diversified Agency Services

Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (, manages Omnicom’s holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

About Omnicom Group Inc.

Omnicom Group Inc. ( is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011, Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research and survey management.