Double-edged leadership

Many of the qualities that mark out successful managers can pose hidden risks, an audience of City HR professionals heard.

Speaking at a seminar, author and broadcaster Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology at University College, London, said desirable traits can also have a negative side, leading to incompetent management.

He said the team player is potentially indecisive and lacking in independent judgement, while the innovative employee may also be unrealistic, impractical and prone to wasting time and money.

Even a member of staff with a high level of integrity can create problems, he said, if they turn into a rigid zealot intent on enforcing their personal standards on others.

Michael Moran, executive director of event organiser Meridian Consulting, said HR professionals can gain valuable insights from Furnham’s work.

He said, “The incompetent manager may be an amusing concept but these people cost business money and they can be a liability when they get things wrong.”

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