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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
How many young people today want to become leaders of large corporations? Too few!
Many young people simply lack trust in today’s leadership models. Here are some of the concerns they voice:
Are leaders transparent enough in their actions?
Often times, leaders are not open enough about how they make the big decisions that impact their organisations. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for people to hold their leaders to account. When the research team at the Future of Work Research Consortium asked over 3,000 corporate executives about the significance of various leadership traits, they ranked transparency as increasingly important in the future. Yet they also acknowledged that right now this was not a well-developed capacity and is a high-risk trait in need of attention.
Are leaders engaging their stakeholders effectively?
Some believe that leadership teams of large corporations seem to be stuck in traditional management models that do not help them build trusting relationships with stakeholders. Inside corporations they can fail to create effective democratic processes with employees, while externally they aren’t always demonstrating real commitment to wider social challenges. This is a major challenge for leaders as people increasingly look at companies’ ethical practices and the way they treat employees when deciding whether to trust them or not. It’s clear from the broader research that delivering consistently strong financial performance does not guarantee a corporation the trust of its stakeholders unless accompanied by good practice and ethical behaviour.
Do leaders do as they say?
A recurring theme is the challenge of intent and actions. Leaders may talk about strong corporate values, but some are all too quick to bypass them in the interest of the bottom line. No doubt this scepticism is a response to the wave of corporate scandals in 2012 that has increased suspicions about corporate leaders. A global survey by consulting firm Edelman Berland, found that less than 1 in 5 people believe business leaders will actually tell the truth when confronted with a difficult issue.
It is clear that there is still much scepticism about leadership intent. What we need now is deeper insight into what it takes to restore some of the lost faith in today’s corporate leadership.