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Shifting landscape, expectations challenge top leaders

Association executives discuss Heidrick & Struggles CEO Report; trade groups need to provide key intelligence for members

May 15, 2015
By William Ehart

In an increasingly interconnected world with unprecedented scrutiny on leaders, trust is at a premium—and that requires CEOs to reinvent how they communicate, lead and set strategy.

That is one finding of a study by executive search giant Heidrick & Struggles that was discussed by a panel of association executives May 13 at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., before an audience of a few dozen peers.

The CEO Report—conducted for Heidrick by researchers from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford—was based on interviews with 152 corporate leaders and focused on managing through changing expectations and competency needs. The report was first presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

Though the report was focused on the corporate sector, panelists said it has applications for association leaders, too.

Tom Kuhn, president of the $84 million-revenue Edison Electric Institute, said industry groups can help member executives make decisions.