WE HEAR ABOUT the war on talent and how all the best people will leave if not paid huge sums. This phenomenon is especially true in the financial services sector, particularly with big brand banks.
I am not sure whether these large banks are trying to fool us or whether they really believe what they are saying when they insist on the need to pay insane bonuses. The reality is that the current leaders are not the best leaders – most are not good leaders at all. Their skill and ability has been measured primarily on how to get to the top and how to make get the most for themselves in the process. Many really talented people who would have made great leaders left these organisations long ago, not because of a lack of money, but because they were not willing to make the necessary compromises to their values, morals or ethics to climb the corporate ladder. These people may be unknown today and make a normal amount of money – but probably live more fulfilled lives and do more for society.
We need leaders who are more interested in the sustainable success of their organisation based on serving its various stakeholders. These kind of leaders are not motivated by money.
All big bonuses do is enable banks to hold onto those high ego, self indulgent sociopaths who have created this myth that the best talent needs obscene remuneration. It seems pretty clear to me that getting rid of those kind of individuals would only be good for the organisation – and for society.
In our new book published by Kogan Page, “Leadership Assessment for Talent Development“, we argue, based on research and experience, that organisations need to totally change the way they identify and develop future leaders.
That leaders need a certain intellectual capacity is a no-brainer (if you’ll pardon the pun.) But research shows it only needs to be a little above the norm and that values and behaviours are much more important for leadership excellence.
So, in identifying our future “excellent leaders” we need to see five things:
- Their basic values are very sound
- They have a low ego
- They are genuinely willing to work on developing their behaviours – increasing their emotional intelligence – to get the best out of themselves and others. That’s how to make the leaps in productivity needed
- They believe that values and ethical behaviour are the touchstone for decision-making
- They have a reasonable intellect.
With these basic ingredients, potential leaders can then become excellent leaders by following a transpersonal (beyond the ego) leadership development journey, understanding that it is a life-long commitment to learning and self improvement. It’s not just about gaining knowledge either – they must be able to demonstrate their behaviours and effectiveness in the work-place.
FIND OUT ABOUT Leadership Assessment for Talent Development – authored by LeaderShape’s John Knights, the University of Chester’s Tony Wall and others in just thirty seconds, here!