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Could you be a future business leader?

Could you be a future business leader?

The world of business is changing.  After a period of economic stagnation, headcount cuts or freezes and cost control exercises, many UK businesses are returning to growth and restarting their management development programmes.

Recent research by Hudson shows that tomorrow’s business leaders will need a different set of attributes to traditional leaders to help motivate and engage workforces in a environment of fragile growth, rapid change and ambiguity.

The conclusion is that future leaders will need to display high levels of:

  • Organisation
  • Abstract thinking
  • Change orientation
  • Open communication
  • Social confidence

Areas to focus on

We identified five main areas for development in potential future leaders:

  • Vision: develop further your ability to build a strategic view and to evolve from functioning at an operational, tactical level to functioning at a strategic one
  • Action: refine your approach to decision-making and driving change
  • Impact: adopt a more motivating and persuasive attitude
  • Human: focus on being more co-operative, which in turn would improve your ability to build and maintain positive relationships with people 
  • Drive: show more drive to pursue ambitious goals and objectives

The age of the female leader?

The research also showed that the gap between male and female leaders is narrowing with potential female leaders showing particular natural strength in their ability to adapt to changing conditions and choosing the right attributes to compete effectively for senior management positions.

Female potential leaders in particular showed strength in:

  • Being organised
  • Having a more conceptual view of things (abstract thinking)
  • Being change-oriented – more open to change
  • Having a more open style of communication (communicative) 
  • Having a more human approach, paying more attention to social relationships (altruism, people-oriented, co-operative, helpful and motivating)
  • Being more socially confident
  • More likely to follow their intuition more 

What this mean for ambitious males is that they will need to develop their approach to these attributes if they are to realise their management potential.

Five routes to leadership

  1. Understand what style of leadership is required of you in each situation and among particular types of stakeholders
  2. Understand your own personality profile, your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Be prepared to demonstrate humility, especially when accepting and responding to feedback
  4. Ensure you continually build your profile and networks among key stakeholders and influencers
  5. Be prepared to challenge rather than accept.

You can download a copy of the Hudson report – Emerging Leaders in Europe: Differences that matter.

Download Emerging Leaders

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