The World Economic Forum recently published the results of the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor 2016, where it exposes the issues with leadership today and also highlights what people are looking for in leaders.

For starters, according to the report, there are still huge barriers that prevent people from all over the world to make a break through the “leadership glass ceiling”. The report outlines the significant obstacles that still exist on the path to leadership – from race and gender to disability. It also highlights the growing gap between the expectations we have of our leaders, and reality that have resulted in what the report calls a “global leadership crisis”.

The study has been published over the last five years and 25,000 consumers from five continents offered their views on leaders across 22 industries. This year’s study gathered the perceptions of 3,000 people.

Shattering the class ceiling

Respondents see multiple hurdles to leadership opportunities. Two-thirds think disability is a barrier, while over half consider gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation to be obstacles.

The report describse this as a “multi-dimensional leadership glass ceiling”, which is stopping people from reaching the top in areas from business to politics and local communities.

What is more interesting, but not that surprising, is that respondents of the study doubt the effectiveness of laws and legislations. They see company-level and individual action as more powerful tools for change.

So, now the answer we’ve been waiting for, what are people looking for in a leader?

The infographic (pictured in the gallery) highlights the difference between expectations and reality. Less than a quarter of people see leaders as effective, while just 13% think their leaders take appropriate responsibility.

There is also a gap between respondents’ political priorities, and the extent to which they think politicians are tackling them. Equally, less than a third see their leaders as effective communicators.

This is a major issue for leaders around the world, as communication remains the second most important characteristic people are looking for.

To conclude, over the past five years, the skills people are looking for in their leaders have remained relatively consistent. Leadership by example, communication and admitting mistakes score highly. Quality of service and trustworthiness are also considered important.

What is your organisation doing to tackle its leadership processes?

Read more about the study here.