Senior executives in despair over business leaders’ lack of leadership skills

UK business will struggle as long as leaders have limited communication skills, according to research.

Almost 80% of the 1,400 senior executives questioned by the Ken Blanchard Group Companies consultancy said that not providing adequate feedback, praise or constructive criticism, was the top leadership mistake.

About 80% said leaders who did not listen to them were the worst, followed closely by leaders who fail to set clear goals or objectives.

Three-quarters (76%) of respondents also cited inappropriate leadership styles as a significant error.

Failing to train and develop employees was the fifth most common complaint, with 59% of respondents highlighting this issue.

Inappropriate use of communication (41%), inadequate supervision (27%) and a lack of management skills (14%) were also cited as mistakes.

Jim O’Brien, managing director of the Blanchard Group Companies in the UK, said the results were worrying.

“They are mistakes no leader should ever make,” he said. “It seems that many leaders out there do not have even the most basic, critical leadership skills they need to do their job properly and this is bad news for business.

“We all know leaders hold the key to organisational success. Bad leadership leads, ultimately, to low organisational vitality, high staff turnover and poor customer loyalty.”

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