Strong leadership is synonymous with high performing organisations – the reason why many employers invest greatly in their organisational leadership and team leadership development. According to the Deloitte survey, leadership is of importance to helping businesses thrive and it continuously develops from time to time. Majority (80 percent) of survey respondents believe that the 21st-century leadership has unique and new requirements that are important or very important. However, among those who cited that leadership is vital, only 25 percent have effectively built digital leaders and 30 percent said they are effectively developing leaders to meet evolving challenges.
A big, unresolved issue here is what sort of leadership behaviour organisations should encourage. Is leadership so contextual that it defies standard definitions or development approaches? Should companies now concentrate their efforts on priorities such as role modeling, making decisions quickly, defining visions, and shaping leaders who are good at adapting? Or should they stress the virtues of enthusiastic communication?
McKinsey research suggests that a small subset of leadership skills closely correlates with leadership success, particularly among frontline leaders. Using practical experience and searching the relevant academic literature, McKinsey came up with a comprehensive list of 20 distinct leadership traits. Then, they surveyed 189,000 people in 81 diverse organisations around the world to assess how frequently certain kinds of leadership behaviour are applied within their organisations. Finally, the team divided samples into organisations whose leadership performance was strong. The survey revealed that leaders in organisations with high-quality leadership teams typically displayed 4 of the 20 possible types of behaviour. These 4 explained 89 percent of the variance between strong and weak organisations in terms of leadership effectiveness.
Below is the four traits of strong leadership in organisations:
Experience shows that different business situations often require different styles of leadership. However, the point to make is that a kind of core leadership behaviour that will be relevant to most companies today, notably on the front line, is to invest in the development of the future leaders, prioritizing these four areas is a good place to start.
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