UK business leaders most successful at dealing with recession

The UK’s business leaders may be among the best placed in the world to deal with any recession, a survey suggests.


The Global Leadership Forecast 2008/2009 by leadership consultancy DDI has found that out of 13,700 HR professionals from 76 countries, 44% of respondents ranked the UK as number one at having very good or excellent leaders – compared with 37% globally.


Some 58% of UK respondents also claim they have a process for spotting high potential leaders, compared with 50% of organisations worldwide.


However, the survey revealed that just 41% of leaders globally are satisfied with leadership development, down 12% since the 2005/2006 forecast.


It also found leaders face challenges as they get promoted, admitting that each ‘transition’ into a new role becomes more difficult. Despite this, nearly half of organisations (46%) provided no development for leaders moving into new roles and 37% of succession candidates failed.


Steve Newhall, vice-president Europe for DDI, said: “In a time of global economic uncertainty it’s encouraging to see that the UK’s business leaders are receiving better support in their roles than their global counterparts. When times get tough, leadership skills are really put to the test, and organisations with the right quality and quantity of leaders will weather the storm better than those less well prepared.”


He added that in the face of pressure to reduce costs organisations must remain firm in their commitment to invest in leader assessment and development.


Other survey findings




  • 71% of multinational organisations say they do not have processes to develop their multinational leaders


  • 49% of the UK’s HR professionals have high confidence in their leaders versus 35% worldwide


  • In the UK 55% of those on high potential programmes are happy with their development compared with 37% globally


  • 89% of UK leaders put high quality leadership programmes down to good assessment of strengths and development needs


  • 81% of the most effective leadership programmes made a clear link between leadership skills and business priorities compared with just 36% of the least effective programmes.

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