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UK workers’ ideal manager would be mixture of Obama, Branson and Oprah

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Recruitment specialists Reed surveyed a cross section of workers, who said that the key traits they look for in a boss include communications skills (21 per cent said this was most important), strong leadership (19 per cent), fairness and integrity.

Top 10 characteristics in full:

1. Communication skills (21%)
2. Strong leadership (19%)
3. Fairness (14%)
4. Integrity (11%)
5. Professionalism (11%)
6. Calmness under pressure (5%)
7. Sense of humour (4%)
8. Team-orientation (4%)
9. Compassion (3%)
10. Encouragement (3%)

When asked to link key traits with celebrities and world leaders, Barack Obama and Richard Branson frequently came out on top, with 36 per cent praising Obama’s calmness under pressure and 23 per cent his communication skills. 19 per cent valued the integrity and 15 per cent the encouragement of Richard Branson and 25 per cent the compassion of Oprah Winfrey.

Tom Lovell, group managing director at REED, said: “Our research shows that a combination of qualities is important in a manger, but that communication skills are the most valued. This is perhaps because it is only through communicating properly and clearly with employees that they know what’s expected of them and vitally, when the work they do is being recognised.” 

When asked to name any potential manager, alive, dead, or even fictional, Richard Branson received plaudits again, along with Winston Churchill and Stephen Fry. More unusually, some cited Professor Dumbledore, Dr Who and even David Brent from The Office.

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