whose job is harder a fortune 500 ceo or an nfl coach


Professionals Weigh in Via Korn Ferry Survey in Advance of Sunday’s Big Game

- Respondents Say Chiefs’ Head Coach Reid Would be Better CEO Than 49ers’ Shanahan -

- Professionals Choose 49ers’ Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a Better CEO than Chiefs’ Mahomes -

As sports fans across the globe gear up for this weekend’s massive matchup of the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, a Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of professionals pits football against corporate life.

When asked whose job is harder, an 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 who 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.

When 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.

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.”

About the survey

The Korn Ferry survey of professionals took place in January 2020 and garnered 520 responses.

Survey Responses:

Whose job is more difficult, an NFL head coach or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company?

NFL head coach 37 percent
CEO of a Fortune 500 company 63 percent

Which would you rather be?

An NFL head coach 46 percent
CEO of a Fortune 500 company 54 percent

Which NFL coach would make the best corporate CEO?

Andy Reid 64 percent
Kyle Shanahan 36 percent

Which coach gets the most out of his talent?

Andy Reid 53 percent
Kyle Shanahan 47 percent

Which NFL quarterback would make the best corporate CEO?

Patrick Mahomes 42 percent
Jimmy Garoppolo 58 percent

Which quarterback is the best team player?

Patrick Mahomes 66 percent
Jimmy Garoppolo 44 percent

Which player will be the highest performer at the Super Bowl?

Patrick Mahomes 51 percent
Tyreek Hill 8 percent
Travis Kelce 10 percent
Jimmy Garoppolo 7 percent
George Kittle 10 percent
Nick Bosa 14 percent

Of the two coaches, who would you want to be your boss?

Andy Reid 61 percent
Kyle Shanahan 39 percent

Which coach is more optimistic?

Andy Reid 41 percent
Kyle Shanahan 59 percent

Which team will win the Super Bowl?

Kansas City Chiefs 69 percent
San Francisco 49ers 31 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.

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