Business leaders are not displaying the right attributes

UK managers want business leaders who produce results, demonstrate trust and respect their teams, but less than four in 10 claim to see these behaviours in their workplace.  

New research from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) identifies the three main characteristics that managers want to see.   


They are: ‘genuine shared vision’ (79 per cent), ‘real confidence and trust in teams’ (77 per cent) and ‘respect for employees, colleagues and customers’ (73 per cent).


However, less than 40 per cent of the respondents believe their leaders regularly demonstrate these attributes.  Moreover, while the single most important  factor managers would like to see in their leader is ‘inspiration’, only just over one in 10 respondents actually see this ‘ability to  inspire’ at work.


Nigel Crouch, a senior industrialist at the DTI, said: “Ultimately, people are still looking for something different and better in organisational leadership.  


“Companies must develop and learn from best practice approaches to management and leadership to  keep employees motivated and committed by creating organisational cultures that foster not only performance, but also a sense of pride and fun.”


The research did contain some good news for business leaders. Six in 10 respondents said their boss presented an honest and open face to staff, 49 per cent admire their leader’s clear standards, ethics and integrity, and 46 per cent admire their leader’s determination to achieve business objectives.      


Key findings from the report Inspired Leadership – an insight into people who inspire exceptional performance


Locked in an ivory tower


Six in 10 (62 per cent) say their MD or CEO is out of touch with how staff feel. Only 40 per cent said the head of their organisation chatted to staff, and less than one-fifth (19 per  cent) experienced an open-door policy.


Short-sighted approach


The majority of managers (79 per cent) want leaders to share their vision of where the organisation is heading, but only 38 per cent claim this actually happens.  Forty-threee per cent also claimed their leaders talked more than they listened.


All work and no play


Ninety-three per cent want leaders who inspire fun and excitement, but only one in three have experienced this at work. Only 44 per cent claimed that team events or outings were arranged for them, and less than half (48 per cent) said there was a good ‘buzz’ at work.


Tight grip on the reigns


Nine in 10 respondents claimed their boss doesn’t trust them. Only 8 per cent claimed to have responsibility to sign-off projects, and just 16 per cent were given the flexibility to work from home

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