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Have Your Say On Leadership Today – Results Are In!

By February 17, 2011February 14th, 2019Articles, leadership, Leadership

Have Your Say On Leadership Today – The results are in!

What people are seeking in a leader today is very clear. And the majority is not getting it! This was a very clear message from the recent Distinctive Leadership survey.

This report is lengthy BUT we have had an enormous amount of interest in the outcomes and people requesting the results so we wanted to provide as much information as possible.

One thing that is evident, what people are looking for in a leader today has changed from what they were seeking a couple of years ago. We have high expectations of our leaders today and what people are looking for is very consistent.

What are you looking for from a leader today?

  1. To communicate effectively 81%  
  2. To have clarity in direction and vision 48%
  3. To inspire 45%
  4. To be decisive 38%
  5. Professionalism 33%
  6. To be passionate 31%

The survey responses have confirmed our suspicions – we have a crisis of leadership on our hands. What constitutes a leadership crisis and what can you do if you are having one? Request your free CD and report here:

Leadership Crisis CD

You will see for yourself from the responses that leaders today appear to have lost confidence and by all reports do not have the skills to be an effective leader. This was cited as one of the top issues with leadership today.

What is the problem with leadership today?

  1. Poor communication 63%
  2.  Lack of leadership skills 58%
  3. Leaders on a power trip 50%
  4. Leaders not interested in their people 45%
  5. Lack of vision/direction 42%
  6. Inconsistent leadership 40%

So how do we fix this? How do we start to build a culture of leadership in business and in our society? People want it; people know what good leadership should be, so why aren’t they ‘being’ a great leader? Interestingly, 36% of our respondents were in fact Business Leaders.

We have compiled a report of the critical responses and you can find it here:

Survey Results 

The following is a summary of the top responses where we have asked for people’s written opinion. The responses we received were honest, raw and very relevant to what is happening in business today.

What are the three most important qualities you want to see from leadership today? The top responses were:

  1. Communication
  2.  Vision and clarity of direction
  3. Decisiveness and to know what they stand for
  4. Passion and Inspiration
  5. Accountability and responsibility

Connection and empowerment were also common responses. You can see a direct link to what people cited as the biggest issues with leadership today.

Who comes to mind as a prominent and effective leader?

Do these surprise you? Maybe the reasons why these leaders have featured highly will not. The overwhelming reason why these names were mentioned is due to the conviction of beliefs, vision, courage, inspiration, they know what they stand for and the fact that they listen to their people and make educated and considered decisions. These are the things that people are looking for in a leader today.

  1. Barack Obama – this man is very much seen as the ‘true leader’
  2. Nelson Mandela – an inspiration
  3. Richard Branson – a man who takes risk and accepts responsibility
  4. Australian political leaders Jeff Kennett and Paul Keating. People didn’t necessarily agree with their leadership style, particularly Jeff Kennett, but they had vision, knew what they stood for and had strength.

You will notice that there are not any current political Australian leaders listed here, which is no surprise really given that people respect someone who knows what they stand for! Some people also mentioned a leader they have worked for personally for the reasons highlighted above and the fact they empowered them to grow and develop in their role.

The questions around culture of leadership in society and in organizations in which people work or have worked evoked some fantastic and insightful responses. I have included some responses, which summarise the majority.

Leadership in society? 60% say no.

To be honest, this was not a surprise to me. I have had concerns about the lack of leadership in our society at all levels and believe this is something that needs to be addressed from the ground up and bottom down.

“We are not taught how to be leaders – Australia is all about being equal and the tall poppy syndrome keeps people small. “

“Generally society has become more of blaming someone else for an issue rather than taking leadership and control of the situation.”                       

“Many business leaders are told they have to lead and have no natural or learned ability to do so.”

“Few people stand up for what they believe in. Few people say what they think; they say what they think others want to hear.”

“There are not enough people in today’s society who are prepared to be a leader…. they are scared of failure and you are under more scrutiny today.”

“Everyone is looking after themselves.”           

Leadership focus and culture in organisations? 65% say no.

Again, this is not a surprise to us. Leaders have been placed under unrelenting business demands of previous years and have been running hard to keep up with change, putting out fires and very reactive to their environment.

“In the organisations I have worked those given leadership positions very rarely do it well. In small business very few owners know how to lead. Those who do, do well.”

“Strong leadership is not evident across all areas of the business.”

“The wrong people in the wrong roles are a common problem.”           

“Many of the leaders were too concerned of what others may think…or want to be popular with everyone. Others did not have the ability to communicate and reigned on fear.”           

“The leader cannot organize the workload or delegate, does not have leadership skills and has poor time management skills. Is walked over by stronger personalities. Sits in an office away from the staff.  Is reactive rather than proactive.”

“There is a need for employees generally, to be developing leadership skills as they come through the ranks, rather than waiting till they are in a leadership position. There should be more emphasis on preparation for leadership.”           

“Too busy in the business.”                                   

There were many other responses provided all confirming that there is a problem with leadership today. Some examples

“Leadership is a skill set that needs teaching in the business community in this country. Too many people "lead" by the yell and tell method. Not from a place of inspiration.”           

“It is a vital skill that is missing from many businesses – small and large as well as within many people who could lead themselves better and choose not to. Am keen to see more training provided in this area.”           

“There aren't enough effective leaders or role models out there… so this survey is important… to raise awareness! Well done”           

So what can we do?

If you are a business leader and passionate about leadership, how does your leadership stack up in the eyes of your people? Are you getting the results that you want to get?

Many business leaders today do not know how to be an effective leader. In the words of Michael Gerber, many business owners remain great technicians and do not make the transition to leader, which requires a completely different skill set and mind set. And people have told us; this is a big problem with leadership today.

Distinctive Leadership is offering all business leaders a complimentary leadership success consultation to assist them to identify if they can improve their leadership to enable them to get better results. It is a one-hour phone consultation and is totally confidential focused on you as the leader and the results you are getting. Worst-case scenario is that you will walk away with some great information that you can do something with. See if you can improve your leadership style and differentiate yourself as a great leader.

Business Leader Success

Thank you to all of the people who took the time to complete the survey. We will repeat this later in the year and compare responses.

To your success,