Dave Ulrich tells HR delegates in Budapest to focus on leadership qualities

Organisations are focusing too narrowly on the personal attributes of leaders rather than paying attention to the critical connection between leadership abilities and business results, according to top management guru Dave Ulrich.

Ulrich, who was addressing human resources delegates and chief executives at the ‘Embracing our Future’ HayGroup International Conference in Budapest, said: “Leadership as a process is more crucial than the leaders themselves.”

He urged delegates to build systems that sustain the next generation of leaders. “If you want leaders in your organisation to be innovators, you must have innovative HR people implementing innovative HR systems, otherwise you’re going to be in trouble,” he warned.

Erling Berrum, team co-ordinator of HayGroup, Norway, said: “The ego is dead, it’s no longer about the personal focus and competencies of a leader but about investing in your future leaders.”

He went on to explain that egotistical leaders have, in the past, wasted talent and “hung people out to dry.”

Ulrich identified the crucial steps HR needed to take to create a leadership legacy. Among these were; building a compelling case for developing the next generation leaders, heavily investing in leadership training; and measuring the impact of that investment.

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