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Gandhiji among leaders most admired by CEOs globally

Last updated on: April 17, 2013 09:28 IST

Gandhiji among leaders most admired by CEOs globally

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Mahatma Gandhi figures among the top three most admired leaders of the world, said a global survey of CEOs conducted by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

While Winston Churchill tops the list of 10 most admired leaders, Gandhi figures in the third position after Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), said the 16th Annual Global CEO Survey.

As part of its annual survey, PwC said it recently asked 1,400 CEOs from around the world "which leaders they most admired, and what they most admired about their actions".

"Some clear types emerged: warriors, (Napoleon; Alexander the Great) reformers (Jack Welch), leaders though adversity (Winston Churchill; Abraham Lincoln), leaders who caught the imagination of the masses (Mahatma Gandhi; Nelson Mandela) and consensus builders such as Bill Clinton" PwC said in a statement.

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Image: Mahatma Gandhi


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Churchill was the most popular choice of all CEOs with Jobs admired in the most number of countries (37).

Churchill has wide appeal and popularity across Western Europe, coming top in France ahead of Charles de Gaulle and beating Niccolo Machiavelli to the top spot in Italy, PwC said.

Twice-serving as British prime minister (1940-45; 1951-55) Churchill even manages a tie with Gandhi in Turkey, behind Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it added. As per the PwC, Nelson Mandela, Jack Welch and Abraham Lincoln, were at the 4th, 5th and 6th positions, respectively.

PwC said 15 women were named, of whom Margaret Thatcher was the only one to make the top 10 (7th position). The former British Prime Minister, know as the iron lady, died last week.

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Image: Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill


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"The next most-named women were Angela Merkel, Ayn Rand, Mother Teresa and Queen Elizabeth I," the PwC survey said. Women, it added, were four times more likely to choose female leader than men.

Former US Presidents Ronald Reagan, John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton were at 8th, 9th and 10th positions. French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte shares the 10th position with Clinton.

PwC said some 60 per cent of CEOs chose a post-war politician or military leader.

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Image: Mother Teresa


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"The other most popular categories were business leaders, historical leaders and contemporary leaders, in that order," it said.

Other categories include writers, artists, philosophers, sports people, religious leaders and fictional characters. One per cent chose a colleague, it added.

At a time when the topic of leadership is receiving heightened attention, the PwC said the survey shows how characteristics such as flexibility, pragmatism and agility are as relevant today as in millennia past.

"It's clear that the role and expectations of leaders are changing, not withstanding that, CEOs continue to look back over history to identity role models," said Michael Rendell, Global Head of PwC's Human Resource Services.


Image: Former US President John F Kennedy


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