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By Mark Havenner

The second annual Worldcom Confidence Index (CI) from agency partnership The Worldcom Public Relations Group revealed that global confidence is significantly down compared to 2018 by a margin of 51% in the United States and 20% in the world overall. Worldcom commissioned sophisticated AI technology from Advanced Symbolics Inc. to obtain and analyze conversations from more than 58,000 C-suite executives.

The groundbreaking study revealed that business leaders are on the frontlines of many threats and uncertainties significantly shaking their collective confidence. Since 2018, businesses needed to contend with trade wars between the U.S. and China, Brexit, protests in Hong Kong, and natural disasters. In addition to global confidence, the study measured the confidence levels in reaching particular audiences, including shareholders, customers, suppliers, and government officials.

Some of the key points the study revealed:

• Influencers are the most critical audience for business leaders but are second to last in their confidence in reaching them
• Employees are still a major topic, as they were in 2018, but this year rank the lowest in c-suite confidence and take up the majority of the topic sets
• Business leaders are talking about upskilling and reskilling employees in light of new business needs
• There are significant concerns about protecting brands and corporate reputation, especially during a crisis
• Leaders are very concerned about the impact of unacceptable behavior and sexual harassment on brand reputation
• Global trade agreements and tariffs are undermining confidence
• Particularly in the U.S., business leaders are not confident in their ability to satisfy customers
• Global warming and other events across the world that affect everyone result in dramatically different reactions from business leaders
• Changes in government and laws are much more visible and are causing problems with confidence
• Political leaders have way more impact via social media

The report is available at along with media assets, and a full analysis of the findings, including key recommendations on what business leaders can do going into 2020 to restore confidence and navigate challenging times.