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UK leaders lag behind in the first global ranking of leadership effectiveness, claims report

India has the world’s most effective business leaders, according to their ‘followers’; the UK ranks 17th out of the 21 countries surveyed


UK leaders lag behind in the first global ranking of leadership effectiveness, claims report

India has the world’s most effective business leaders, according to their ‘followers’; the UK ranks 17th out of the 21 countries surveyed

The leaders of UK organisations are seen as less effective than their counterparts in India, China, Russia, the United States and Germany, according to a worldwide study by the Kenexa Research Institute.

The Kenexa Research Institute’s 2010 WorkTrends research report, entitled Exploring Leadership and Managerial Effectiveness, identifies what ‘followers’ want from their leaders and managers and it includes a global ranking of leadership effectiveness, showing which countries and industry sectors have the highest-rated leaders. Developed from a survey of more than 29,000 employees in 21 countries, it identifies the key priorities for leadership development and gives practical advice on how leaders can improve their effectiveness, build trust, open up lines of communication, collect and utilise employee ideas, lead fairly and solve problems quickly.

The study identifies ten ‘drivers’ of effective leadership - the characteristics that followers look for in their leaders. These include the ability to inspire trust and confidence; to value quality and customer service; to be open and communicative; to have a multi-stakeholder perspective, and to hold lower-level managers accountable for being ‘good managers’.

As part of the study, KRI created and applied a Leadership Effectiveness Index, which measures the extent to which employees believe their leaders communicate their vision, handle challenges, value employees, are committed to improving quality and inspire trust. According to this Index, India and China have the world’s most effective leaders.

The UK ranks 17th out of the 21 countries surveyed. The UK Leadership Effectiveness Index score (47%) lags a notable 25 percentage points behind India’s score (72%) and is below the global average score of 55%.

The study shows that, in the UK, effective leaders are mostly found in the retail, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. Government and financial services have the lowest rankings of leadership effectiveness.

“Great leadership is clearly evident in certain industry sectors,” said Jack Wiley. “The low-ranking sectors should be looking at what the higher ranking sectors are doing in terms of recruiting and developing their leadership talent. There are lessons to be learned there.”

The results show that, according to employees, the most effective managers are those who are fair, communicative and involving, act as problem-solvers, provide recognition for a job well done, support employee growth and development and in general demonstrate an employee orientation.

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