Do Australian businesses really face a leadership crisis? Or, do they simply think there is a crisis?
That’s a googly question, delivered by management gurus at rogenSI, a global consultancy whose origins lie off Broadway. The global firm conducted a study in which the world’s business leaders rated themselves, in the process engaging in a process of self-discovery as well.
What the study found about Australian business leaders was stunning – a key flaw, if you will, that many may never have considered. The research suggests Australian leaders are great when it comes to technical and professional expertise, but, critically, lack a third key “core leadership competency” – the ability to inspire and motivate others.
What is true leadership?
In the rogenSi study, 630 Australian clients were asked to rate their abilities across 16 core leadership competencies. They rated the ability to inspire and motivate others as the second last skill, just above “practices self development.” Ironically, the same business leaders also listed the ability to inspire and motivate a top requirement.
Still, there is no cause for despair. rogenSI says the key management competency to inspire and motivate colleagues is a learned skill that can easily be developed.
“The good news for business leaders is that the ability to inspire and motivate can be modelled, replicated, and rehearsed, even by those who might more naturally shy away from the limelight that leadership brings,” says Terry Reynolds, rogenSI’s Regional Managing Director for Asia Pacific.
“I have seen technical experts, with no inclination to take the stage, grow into highly accomplished speakers and – through this and other platforms – become extraordinarily inspiring from what they would concede was a very low starting point. I’m not suggesting that this is easy, but it is absolutely possible,” adds the 16-year veteran.
Reynolds says business leaders can not only develop the skill but also use it to create tangible results, and even enjoy a so-called multiplier effect that true inspiration can bring.
rogenSI’s study was conducted on its behalf by Zenger Folkman over the period 2011-13.