Positive Leadership has also been recognised as a Top 50 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter @posleadership


Monday, December 07, 2009

Leading Through Crises

President Obama says he's been able to lead through crises since taking office by:

"Being able to pull together the best people and have them work as a team; insisting on analytical rigor in evaluating the nature of the problem; making sure that dissenting voices are heard and that a range of options are explored; being willing to make a decision after having looked at all the options, and then insisting on good execution as well as timely feedback, so that [if] you have to correct the decision that you make, that you are able to do so in time; being able to stay calm and steady when the stakes are high. You know, all those things are, I think, principles I try to apply in any circumstance. I find them particularly useful when the decisions are tough and the consequences of action are most weighty."

The Six Factors That Drive Confidence in Leaders

For the past four years, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership has conducted an annual public opinion poll to determine the sector leaders in which Americans have the most and least confidence and the factors behind those confidence levels. The 2009 results have just been released and there are some pretty interesting conclusions.

First, the sectors where the confidence level in leaders are up in a statistically significant way over last year are the military, the executive branch and business. Those that showed a significant decline are medical, nonprofits and charity, state government, the news media and Wall Street.

Based on an index where 100 indicates a moderate amount of confidence the only three sectors that scored higher than that level were the military, medical and nonprofits and charity. Of those three, the military is the only sector to score well above 100 on the confidence index with a score of almost 120.

According to the study, there are six key factors that have the greatest impact on Americans’ confidence in their leaders. These factors are:

Trust in what the leaders say

Competence to do the job

Working for the greater good of society

•Share my values

•Get good results

In touch with people’s needs and concerns

Given what’s happened over the past year, it’s not surprising that the military and the nonprofit sector leaders were in the top three. Likewise, when you consider the past year and look at the six most important factors, it’s easy to understand why the two lowest ranked sectors were the news media and Wall Street.

Reading between the lines of the study, there is one other factor that’s not explicitly mentioned but probably comes into play. That factor is the perceived clarity and importance of the sector’s purpose and mission. Reading the study, it’s striking how much higher the leadership of the military and the nonprofit sectors are rated in all six key factors than are the leadership of other highlighted sectors.

“What do these two sectors have in common?”; clarity and importance of purpose is the answer.

To stand a chance of being effective, leaders must generate confidence in the people that depend on them.

For more, see - http://content.ksg.harvard.edu/leadership/images/CPLpdf/cpl_nli_2009.pdf