A new study from the World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with Accenture, highlights five elements at the heart of a new model of responsible leadership for an era of stakeholder capitalism — one that focuses on strong organizational performance in concert with positive social and environmental impact.

Titled Seeking New Leadership, the report features the growing demand for businesses to address environmental, social and economic issues in return for their “license to prosper”.

It also suggests that tackling the challenges of the coming decade to accelerate growth and improve societal outcomes will require a wider range of attributes and characteristics from leaders, which the study identifies as:

  • Stakeholder inclusion
  • Emotion & intuition
  • Mission & purpose
  • Technology & innovation
  • Intellect & insight

At the same time, the study also notes that profits and responsible leadership needn’t be mutually exclusive; in fact, it finds a link between responsible leadership and higher financial performance. Companies that achieve high levels of both innovation and stakeholder trust outperform their industry peers financially — with an average of 3.1% higher operating profits as well as greater returns for shareholders. In addition, companies that achieve industry-leading innovation, stakeholder trust and financial performance display all five elements of responsible leadership to a greater extent than do their peers.

Download the report here!