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Business leaders find it’s tough at the top

Written by Josh Russell on Friday, 29 June 2012. Posted in Leadership, People

The old adage that it's 'lonely at the top' may have gained a little more credibility as a new survey reveals that as many as one third of business owners don't enjoy being a leader in the difficult economic climate.

Business leaders find it’s tough at the top

The survey of 600 business leaders, compiled by leadership development company The Leadership Team, also revealed that 51% described their work/life balance as merely only 'okay', with over half of those polled saying that they work at least 50 hours a week.

Although these statistics paint a rather grim picture of the personal lives of business leaders during the downturn, it appears the hard work and sacrificing of family holidays and golfing days may just be paying off: half of those polled stated  their businesses were 'growing slightly' and a further 25% ventured they thought their companies were 'growing rapidly'. When addressing the issue of the UK economy there was a bit more of a divide, with more than a quarter saying they  thought there would be 'no change' over the next 2-3 years, while a surprising 47% described themselves as 'optimistic'.

When asked about the most important skill they thought was required in running a business,  75% sided with having a 'strategic vision' (whatever that may be. It sounds like something a candidate on the Apprentice would come up with).  When asked to rate what they were personally best at 41% opted for 'strategy', 31% for 'managing people' and 14% 'sales'.

Jerry Hopkins, founder of The Leadership Team, said: “The survey’s findings show that many business owners are finding life tough and lonely at the top in the present economic climate and the majority see either no change or things getting worse over the next couple of years.

“However, it is also clear that business owners believe that having a strong vision, being able to maintain focus in difficult conditions and building a strong team around them will be hugely important in determining just how successful they are over the coming years.”

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

As editor, Russell is the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop Pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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