There is much written on ‘Leadership’ with many thoughts on what makes the ideal leader, from someone with charisma, a person with vision, being transformational and so forth. Today, the pace of change is extremely fast and becoming ever more complex. This not only exists for the leaders in large corporations but also and importantly the very many small and medium size businesses (SMEs) that is, those employing less than 250 people. In looking at the EU28 countries SMEs formed the backbone of the EU28 economy. In 2015, there were 23 million SMEs and they employed approximately 90 million people. They also employ 66% of all workers and in non-financial sectors contributed 60% towards the economy. (Source – Annual Report on European SMEs).
All organisations want the ‘ideal’ leader. Unfortunately in our opinion there is no such thing as ‘ideal’ and leadership is also difficult to fine tune. Research indicates for example that whilst charisma is something you would want in a leader, too much of it might not be a good thing. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). Others believe that leading in the right direction is the most important factor for success. Other research states effective leaders need to clash with their company’s culture. (Journal of Applied Psychology).
Ten tips to being a better leader
Like most of us we all wish to improve the manner in which we lead our businesses. For further information and tips from leading psychologists on how to improve your leadership skills | Click Here
Leadership and Gender
Considerable debate surrounds whether men or women are better leaders. The Harvard Business Review (Do Women Make Bolder Leaders than Men? – April 2016) published interesting findings that called into question the common stereotype that men have a tendency in business to be bolder than women; using 360-degree assessments from 75,000 leaders around the world. In every business function women had a higher boldness leadership percentile than males.
The data also showed that women 30 and younger in men-dominated businesses were rated in the 62nd percentile whereas women in women-dominated businesses were in the 42nd percentile. It therefore seems that younger women in in men-dominated businesses need to be able to challenge, push hard for results and do something out of the ordinary.
In the 2016 KPMG CEO Outlook Survey the leaders of today predict the following:
In the 2016 Willis Towers Watson Global Workforce Study reveals what employees are saying:
- 48% don’t think senior leaders are doing a good or very good job growing the business
- 47% of employees say that their senior leaders are doing a good or very good job of managing costs
- 52% don’t have trust or confidence in the job being done by the senior leadership team of their organisation
- 39% say their leaders are doing a good job of developing future leaders
Our clients often ask us the following questions?
- How can we identify and define leadership potential
- In what way can they see real outcomes from the assessment process
- What are the expectations of the next generation of leaders
- How can leaders be developed within the business
Leadership Assessment Profiles
At Testing Talent we work with many organisations in recruiting the next generation leaders. We certainly would not rule out the process of identifying leadership effectiveness using both a Management Focus – delivering dependable performance and Leadership – inspiring the business to achieve beyond its expectations. We feel that this is about the following four functions:
SHL Leadership Model
|Leadership Function||Definition||Management Focus |
|Developing the Vision||This involves the critical analysis of the current situation, and the generation of ideas to move forward (Strategy).||Analyzing & Interpreting||Creating & Conceptualizing|
|Sharing the Goals||This involves persuasively communicating the vision to others, as well as personally adapting to the changes that the new strategy brings (Communication)||Adapting & Coping||Interacting & Presenting|
|Gaining Support||This involves gaining other people's support by motivating and empowering them to implement the actions needed to deliver the strategy (People)||Supporting & Co-operating||Leading & Deciding|
|Delivering Success||This involves using operational efficiency and commercial acumen to effectively implement the strategy (Operations)||Organizing & Executing||Enterprising & Performing|
We certainly see the SHL Leadership Report as being an in-depth profile in identifying and developing the future leaders in organisations.
Click on the image to download a sample of the SHL Leadership Report
Further development across leadership assessment has recently seen Saville Assessment further redefine the competency approach and to understand the direct impact of style and behaviour on key organizational outcomes. They also link the effectiveness of leaders to the organizational outcomes they are measured against. They define the ‘Impact Areas’ as:
|Service & Product Delivery||Organisational Commitment||New Products | Markets|
|Managing Risk||Successful Teams||Organisational Transformation|
|Expert Reputation||Communication||Organisational Growth|
Click on the image to download a sample of the Saville Assessment Leadership Risk Report
For senior roles we would recommend either the SHL Leadership Profile or the Saville Assessment Leadership Impact Profiles.
Leadership – Succession Planning in Family Businesses
Managing the next generation of leaders in family businesses brings with it many difficult decisions. Which son or daughter should be the ‘leader’ very often conjures up resentment and ill-will within the family. This is something we have witnessed at first hand and know that ’emotions’ can run deep and be extremely painful. It can shatter a successful business. With many years of experience we apply psychological tools and models to boost insight and success for the family. Many owners find it ‘difficult’ to leave the business and pass it on. It often becomes ‘undisscussable’ with the loss of the leadership role having a much greater impact for Family Business Leaders than the leaders of conventional businesses.
Our tools are based on psychological models on how the ‘leader’ can live a happy life after handing over the reins of the business. For the new leader we adopt a ‘Strengths Based Approach’ by:
Focussing on what is working | Everyone has strengths | Strengths are our potential | Making the most of our strengths | Knowing and growing our strengths.
We adopt a Solutions Focus with an emphasis on defining and progressing towards solutions, rather than being pre-occupied with the problems. Our support reflects the needs of the various stakeholders within the Family Business – the current owners and leaders, the next generation and the relevant non-family managers and professionals who are important to the future continuity and growth of the business.
We have walked with many family businesses with considerable success in dealing with the complex psychological emotions during the succession planning. It has been a privilege for us to do so. We deal with the issues sensitively yet at the same time ensuring progress towards the continuation and growth of the business. We work with the owners legal and financial advisors to ensure a comprehensive approach to succession planning is achieved.
To find out more on this service | Click Here