Leadership Void Threatens Global Businesses

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 12-26-2013 Email

A generation ago, it was standard practice to fill senior-level positions with lower-level managers who had hung around the longest. After all, seniority ruled. But the rapid pace of tech innovation and economic shifts are changing the game. As a result, organizations must overhaul the way they evaluate—and groom—future leaders, according to a recent survey from Egon Zehnder. One key to success: Prioritizing personal comportment over job-specific skills and knowledge, the latter being qualities that can often be learned. "The world is transitioning to different business models," says Damien O'Brien, chairman and CEO of Egon Zehnder, a global executive search and talent management consulting firm. "Who you are—in the sense of personal character traits and motivation—has become more important than ever. Companies need to close the leadership gap by identifying executives who naturally align due to their personal character and values. Leaders today must win the hearts and minds of employees and this requires a different type of leadership." As for the specific personal traits and characteristics which are the strongest indicator of leadership success? These would include curiosity, insight, engagement and determination. More than 800 executives in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America took part in the research, which was conducted as part of the firm's online executive "Club of Leaders" community efforts. For more about the survey, click here

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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