Integrity tops CFO leadership survey

A survey of Chief Financial Officers identified integrity as the most important quality in a leader.

The mark of a good leader may lie in his or her ability to be honest and upstanding, said 31 percent of CFOs in a recent Robert Half Management survey. Experience and communication skills followed, each receiving 27 percent of the response, and technical or functional expertise received 11 percent.

The survey includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

"History has shown the importance of integrity in all aspects of business, from managing assets to managing people," said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Corporate scandals of the recent past have underscored the need for sound corporate governance practices and transparency in financial reporting."

McDonald added that leaders also must be effective communicators. "Financial executives must be able to translate complex concepts into terms other audiences, from investors and board members to employees and the general public, can understand. The ability to motivate and inspire also is crucial for fostering loyal and productive employees."

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