Tuesday, January 24

Decoding leadership: What really matters

Hope you had a great time at your spring ball. We are anxiously waiting to see your photographs in your tuxedo all dressed up. I made chicken stir fry yesterday and I was missing feeding you. Lol. That sounds like I'm an emperor penguin feeding his chick while his mate is off foraging for her meals. But you did cuddle into my lap like a penguin chick does :) 
Anyway. Talking about leadership. Difficult decision son. And I've seen more papers and advice about leadership than I've seen leaders. I've had great leaders. I've had crap leaders. I've been an ok leader and have had serious leadership issues myself as well. It's a tough one. You have to have different leadership skills at different times with different people for different tasks. 
Besides the below, I would say that the first thing is that you shouldn't be an asshole. In so many banks, I've seen leaders become assholes. Just because they have the power. Be nice to start with son. And then other elements come in. 
Another thing is to talk. Leaders talk. And communicate. And communicate. Written. Spoken. All the time. Keep banging on about it. 
Anyway. Looking forward to the photos son. 
Love you


Telling CEOs these days that leadership drives performance is a bit like saying that oxygen is necessary to breathe. Over 90 percent of CEOs are already planning to increase investment in leadership development because they see it as the single most important human-capital issue their organizations face.1 And they’re right to do so: earlier McKinsey research has consistently shown that good leadership is a critical part of organizational health, which is an important driver of shareholder returns.2
A big, unresolved issue is what sort of leadership behavior organizations should encourage. Is leadership so contextual that it defies standard definitions or development approaches?3 Should companies now concentrate their efforts on priorities such as role modeling, making decisions quickly, defining visions, and shaping leaders who are good at adapting? Should they stress the virtues of enthusiastic communication? In the absence of any academic or practitioner consensus on the answers, leadership-development programs address an extraordinary range of issues, which may help explain why only 43 percent of CEOs are confident that their training investments will bear fruit.
Our most recent research, however, suggests that a small subset of leadership skills closely correlates with leadership success, particularly among frontline leaders. Using our own practical experience and searching the relevant academic literature, we came up with a comprehensive list of 20 distinct leadership traits. Next, we surveyed 189,000 people in 81 diverse organizations4 around the world to assess how frequently certain kinds of leadership behavior are applied within their organizations. Finally, we divided the sample into organizations whose leadership performance was strong (the top quartile of leadership effectiveness as measured by McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index) and those that were weak (bottom quartile).

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