confidence gap among execsAccording to Deloitte’s inaugural Business Confidence Report 2014: The Gap Between Confidence and Action, America’s top business leaders and C-level executives-in-waiting (CXOs and CXOWs) are confident in their ability to outperform the competition. However, they are not acting with confidence when it comes to making business decisions or addressing specific obstacles.

A majority of America’s top business leaders (66 percent of CXOs and 63 percent of CXOWs) say they are very confident that their organizations will outperform the competition over the next 12 months. But when asked about their confidence in their ability to address specific obstacles to growth, nearly half had some doubts (43 percent of CXOs and 44 percent of CXOWs).

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the CXOs who say “cyber risk” is an obstacle to growth do not prioritize investments in both technology and incident response.
  • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of those CXOs who cite “competition from emerging markets” as an obstacle to growth do not prioritize their investments in both employees and business strategy.
  • More than one-third (35 percent) of the CXOs who cite “shortage of skilled workers” as an obstacle to growth do not prioritize investments in employees, such as advanced recruiting and training programs.

Furthermore, a majority of CXOs surveyed (52 percent) and CXOWs (59 percent) do not think that their direct reports have the skills to assume greater leadership roles in the organization.

When asked about the obstacles to greater leadership among employees, nearly half (44 percent) of CXOs cite lack of personal ambition and motivation, while half (50 percent) of CXOWs, who have expressed the ambition to become part of the C-suite, cite lack of access to leadership training.

Finally, findings of the survey indicate that 73 percent of CXOs and 75 percent of CXOWs believe in the ability of their organizations to innovate faster than the competition. Yet, they are divided as to the nature of innovation: 53 percent of CXOs and 50 percent of CXOWs say innovation is learned and repeatable, while 47 percent of CXOs and 49 percent of CXOWs say it is spontaneous and random.



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