Updated: Aug 1, 2019
A consistent thread in our conversations with clients involves leadership - how to model it, how to foster it, how to improve it. We're consistently surprised at the very different opinions people have on what constitutes effective leadership. With that in mind, we've recently launched a study into the characteristics of effective leadership - as viewed through the lens of different generations. Is it the first study of its kind? No. Is it the most comprehensive? No. Then why are we asking the questions? We're asking because, while tremendous work has been done to date, we believe there may be questions yet unasked.
In addition to identifying the relative importance of one leadership characteristic versus another, by generation, we also want to identify the behaviors that are most detrimental to effective leadership and if variation between generations exists there. When differing levels of importance are attributed to a characteristic, "violation" of that characteristic will have varying levels of impact. To one person, a breach of trust may be unforgivable. To another, with a different overall perspective on leadership, it may simply be a mistake that can eventually be forgiven.
We're also curious about what respondents truly laud in a leader - what causes them to set one leader apart from all others.
Why does this matter? We live in a strange time. Leaders are rapidly elevated to hero status, and just as quickly revealed to have fatal flaws, feet of clay. Why the rapid rise and fall? Certainly, aggressive media coverage and broader, more rapid communication channels are a factor. But to what extent could it be driven by differences in the way we look at leadership and the degree to which we are willing or unwilling to accept imperfection?
We're on a quest to find out. Our goal is to assist leaders in making better connections with those around them and lead in a way that we can all agree is both ethical and sustainable. Please take a few moments (10 questions, about five minutes) to complete our launch survey, the initial step in our quest. We'd appreciate it if you'd be willing to share it with your friends, colleagues, and connections, as well. Keep an eye on this blog or subscribe to our email list for updates as we learn more.