Mahatma Gandhi among leaders most admired by CEOs globally
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PwC said some 60 per cent of CEOs chose a post-war politician or military leader.
"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 like 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.
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