Q2 2022 | Global Leadership Monitor

Preparing leadership for tomorrow’s critical issues.


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Is leadership prepared to face tomorrow’s critical issues? Not quite.

A confluence of economic uncertainty, geo-political risk, and talent challenges will test leadership teams over the next 12-18 months.

Our analysis of 20 external factors impacting organizational health across the next 12-18 months shows the relative importance of threats cited by global business leaders and how prepared they believe their organizations are to address them.

Three key and inter-related threats rise to the fore: uncertain economic growth, geopolitical uncertainty, and talent/skill shortages.  Coming off the back of a very challenging labor market, 72% of leaders cited the availability of key talent/skills as a top 5 threat to organizational health over the next 12-18 months. This threat rose 13 percentage points since 2021. Uncertain economic growth and geopolitical uncertainty were the next two most frequently cited threats, the latter rising seven places in the ranking – likely propelled by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. Unfortunately, these three top threats also rank amongst the issues that leaders are least likely to say their leadership teams are prepared to face.

High rates of inflation, commodity price volatility and supply chain disruption are creating a very challenging business environment.  Talent will continue to be a critical battleground. Cost-of-living increases create upward pressure on wages, and while some talent shortages may abate, talent with critical skillsets will no doubt remain in high demand as organizations depend on them to build the resilience needed to face economic headwinds.

Analysis of our data and expert perspective reveals a set of key implications for leadership teams as they navigate economic uncertainty – how leaders engage, enable, and inspire their people will be key.

Relative Importance of Factors vs. Leadership Preparedness to Respond
% of leaders

2022 Global Leadership Monitor Graph 1


View a YoY Comparison of Threats to Organizational Health     Download Chart


Three Big Stories in 2022

Our analysis of each of these threats uncovers a set of important leadership implications.


Economic Uncertainty

Leadership cultures that engage constructively with digital and sustainability opportunities are better prepared for economic ups and downs.

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Geopolitical Risk

Leaders need to engage much more deeply in “just-in-case” scenario planning and engineer flexibility into their business and operating models, recognizing that short-term efficiency and profitability may take a hit.

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Talent Crunch

Next-generation leaders are critical to leading in a more purpose and people-oriented paradigm, but they themselves are a huge retention risk.

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Our experts say...





Every year, Russell Reynolds Associates administers The Global Leadership Monitor, an annual survey of executives and non-executive directors, which tracks key threats to organizational health and leadership preparedness to face them, as well as indicators of confidence in leadership, and leaders' engagement and career aspirations.

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Jemi Crookes and Tom Handcock of RRA’s Center for Leadership Insight conducted the research and authored this report.

Learn more about the authors and The Center for Leadership Insight

The authors wish to thank the 1,500+ leaders from RRA’s global network who completed the 2022 Global Leadership Monitor. Their responses to the survey have contributed greatly to our understanding of leadership in 2022 and beyond.


Economic Uncertainty →





Preparing leadership for tomorrow’s critical issues.



2022 Global Leadership Monitor

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