As football fans gear up for this weekend’s Super Bowl LIV championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, a Korn Ferry survey of professionals pits sports against corporate life.
When asked whose job is harder, a National Football League (NFL) head coach or a Fortune 500 CEO, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said Fortune 500 CEO. And even though they believe it’s more difficult, 54 percent of the professionals said they’d rather be a Fortune 500 CEO than an NFL head coach.
The survey also dug into the leadership characteristics of the head coaches of the two teams headed into this weekend’s game. When asked which coach would be a better CEO of a Fortune 500 company, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) picked the Kansas City Chiefs’ Andy Reid over the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan.
Asked who they would prefer as a boss, 61 percent chose Reid over Shanahan, and 53 percent said Reid gets the most out of the talent on his team.
“This survey shows that the best boss is someone who can not only galvanize efforts to win against the competition, but one who can help each and every person on the team excel and reach their full potential,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry Global Head of Leadership Development. “The most effective leaders – in the corporate boardroom and on the football field – understand how to develop and encourage talent to rise above the rest.”
When asked which Super Bowl-bound coach is the most optimistic, 59 percent chose the 49ers’ Shanahan.
When looking at the quarterbacks getting ready for the big game and how they’d likely perform in the corporate world, 58 percent said the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo would be a better corporate CEO than the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Two-thirds (66 percent) said the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is the best team player. In fact, 51 percent said Mahomes will be the highest performer at the Super Bowl, followed by Nick Bosa at 14 percent and George Kittle and Travis Kelce, both at 10 percent.
Finally, when asked which team will win the Super Bowl, 69 percent of the respondents said the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s clear that an incredible amount of work, passion, and preparation has brought both teams to one of the biggest matchups in sports,” said Baltzley. “As corporate professionals around the world take in Sunday’s Super Bowl, we should all be inspired to bring that type of energy, enthusiasm, and world-class team play back to work with us on Monday.”
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