Leadership Quality

[Richard King, Managing Partner of Tom Peters Company, UK, has this commentary on the BloombergBW/Hay Group study we included in Link Roundup #13 last week.]

Commenting on their recently published study of the Best Companies for Leadership, Hay Group's John Larrere said, "Rapid changes in the world are impacting how organizations do business, and as a result, the old rules of how organizations select, develop and retain good leaders have been turned upside down causing the future of leadership to look very different. ... It's about getting them (people) to be passionate about their work and grooming them to handle the challenges ahead."

These findings fall in line with those of leadership researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner who highlight "Inspiring" and "Forward Looking" as two of the four key leadership characteristics people look for in leaders they would chose to follow (see their book Credibility). But here's a twist, Credibility was published in 1993. So ... some might argue that it's not particularly earth-shattering news that "The Best Companies for Leadership" have now worked this out!

But I think there are more important characteristics to building contemporary leadership effectiveness. For example, Kouzes and Posner's classic research highlighted "Honest" and "Competent" as the other two characteristics people predominantly look for in leaders. I wonder whether these Top 20 Best Companies in the Hay study have figured out how to select, build, and maintain people's belief that they are being honestly and competently led in today's unpredictable business world? Or are we all now so bashed about and cynical that these latter characteristics no longer matter as much?