Posts Tagged 'women leaders'

Grow the right business leaders for tomorrow.

51iHC9FJNRL._SL110_LEADERSHAPE’S UNIQUE PUBLICATION …has reached no. 35 in the Amazon Best Seller’s Rank for Training – and highest position of Top 1% on the Amazon Best Seller’s Rank (out of 6m!)

SENIOR BUSINESS AND ACADEMIC leaders from Tata Management Training Centre, Claire’s Stores, Henley Business School and the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) have endorsed a unique publication showing how organisations can grow and develop tomorrow’s leaders, in-house.

Co-author/editor of Leadership Assessment for Talent Development,  John Knights, Chairman and co-founder of LeaderShape says:

Many of today’s leaders reach the organisational pinnacle because they are great at getting there, not because they are a great leader when they arrive. We need to identify and develop those people who will be excellent when they are in the top position.

The publication highlights a new roadmap for CEOs, Directors, Managers and HR professionals, detailing how organisations can use assessment tools to go far beyond recruitment and selection; the aim is to recognise and develop key individuals, as part of a comprehensive talent management and development strategy.  Researched and authored by several members of LeaderShape and the University of Chester’s Centre for Work Related Studies faculties, the extensive source material covers well known public and private sector bodies, as well as family firms and SMEs, collected over 15 years.
Director of LeaderShape and contributing author, Danielle Grant says:

Business professionals needing to pinpoint future leaders will not want to be without this state-of-the-art blueprint for success.  Leadership Assessment for Talent Development goes beyond recruitment to position assessment as a central, strategic activity. It demonstrates how to apply a connected process that accelerates behavioural change and facilitates engagement and enables in-house talent.  It is an authentic and essential companion for managers in any field who want to equip their company with talented employees, to be fit for future success.

The book is also edited by Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the University of Chester, Tony Wall, who lectures in the University’s Centre for Work Related Studies (CWRS) and is a specialist in personal and organisational transformation. The Centre exists to promote the University’s internationally recognised expertise in the fields of work-based learning.
Tony says:

In conducting research into the leadership needs, strengths and blind spots, we found some fascinating trends which are crucial for everyone dealing with talent management and leadership to know. The book tackles these head on, using leadership assessment as one of the most efficient and effective ways to direct talent management budgets for optimal impact. The book is focused on the ‘how to’ of ensuring you get every ounce of value from leadership assessments.

The book, published by Kogan Page, profiles step-by-step how to boost existing talent and, through extensive real-world case studies, highlights the practical application of powerful, bespoke leadership assessment processes. Reviewing the publication,
Peter Collyer, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, Claire’s Stores, Inc said:

A child in their favorite toy store…….that is how this book will make any inquisitive HR Executive or Business Leader feel, when they delve into the rich insights, learnings and opportunities this book provides! For any “self-aware, development-hungry leader” who strives to be successful, this provides both immediate and long-term direction on how to excel as a business and a leader whilst encouraging us to become an exceptional role model for future generations.

Shubhro Sen, Director, TATA Management Training Centre commented:

A timely and insightful treatise on a subject of central importance to every organisation today. Essential learning for all professionals engaged in leadership and talent development.

Dr Barry Z. Posner, Accolti Professor of Leadership, Santa Clara University co-authored The Leadership Challenge, selected as one of the top ten leadership books of all time. He added:

Without leadership, organisations (and nations) perish; this is why this book is so timely, and important. Full of interesting research, practical examples and insightful advice.  An excellent contemporary resource for developing leadership talents; invaluable at both an individual and organisational level.

Professor Peter Hawkins, of the Henley Business School, said:

Tomorrow’s leadership will face far greater challenges than today’s privileged generation. We need to be developing tomorrow’s leadership now and this book provides many tools, approaches and case studies that can help us with that urgent task.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive Officer of the CIPD, who has just been named HR’s Most Influential Thinker for 2013, offered:

Leadership capabilities at all levels have never been more important in times of great change and uncertainty, and most CEOs will cite leadership as one of their most critical areas of concern. So how do we make sure we are assessing and developing leaders in the best way? Much is changing in this field and this book brings together some of the best thinking, case studies and ideas that help us all better understand and develop leaders for the future.

Chris Gulliver, Denise Meakin, Etukudo Odungide, Lisa Rossetti and Philip E Sweet were additional contributors and authors.  Case Study authors were Kate Julian, Nadine Perrins and Greg Young.

Board Level Change

 “”Leadership at all levels is the main driver of staff engagement since leaders set the tone and climate and are in the position of being able to create, or otherwise, the bond between staff and the organisation.”‘ Lady Berkeley, (Julia Clarke.)

THE RIDGEWAY PARTNERSHIP in Oxfordshire specialises in services for people with learning disabilities and other complex needs in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties. During a process of Board Level change, LeaderShape introduced the CEO, Julia Clarke, to new ideas regarding the role of Emotional Intelligence and leadership styles. Julia outlines her concerns that she thought the Board might not have had the necessary skillset to create a performance enhancing culture, but she learned something entirely different from the programme that ensued.

Interview - Lady Berkeley, CEO
Interview – Lady Berkeley, CEO

Julia says LeaderShape were courageous enough to tell her something she wasn’t expecting; she was so impressed by what she learned, she went on to help set up LeaderShape’s healthcare team. You can read the full Ridgeway Partnership Case Study and learn more about how LeaderShape’s vast experience in Board level executive coaching can benefit your organisation.

N.B. Ridgeway Partnership has merged with Southern Health since this strategic work.

Are women better entrepreneurs?

LEADING SELF-MADE WOMEN entrepreneurs earn 17% more than the top men. However, top corporate women earn 21% less than their male equivalents – according to recent research from Barclays Wealth & Investment Management Survey.

This suggests that if we remove the cultural restraints of the male dominated corporate world, women perform better than men in the 21st century. It is interesting to also note that 6% of British women are entrepreneurs (up from 4% in 2008) compared to 12% of men and 10% of women in America.

According to this research woman entrepreneurs take fewer bank loans than men in the same position, own companies that are more likely to be sustainable, and are more driven by a work-life balance than generation of wealth.

This is consistent with LeaderShape’s experience of conducting many 360º LEIPA Assessments and coaching women leaders.  Women probably have naturally more of the attributes of leadership needed in the 21st century, but they need to overcome a few barriers to help them make the most of their potential. Continue reading ‘Are women better entrepreneurs?’

Are Women the Best Leaders for the 21st Century?

From John Knights – Chairman, LeaderShape:

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Recent research publicised in the UK’s The Sunday Times, sourced from Barclays Wealth & Investment Management Survey  http://thetim.es/14ne1Jt explains that the top self-made women (entrepreneurs) earn more than the top men by 17% whereas the top corporate women leaders earn 21% less than their male equivalents.

This suggests that if we remove the cultural restraints of the male dominated corporate world, women perform better than men in the 21st century. It is interesting to also note that 6% of women in the UK are entrepreneurs (up from 4% in 2008) compared to 12% of men in the UK and 10% of women in the USA.

According to this research woman entrepreneurs – compared to equivalent men – take less bank loans, own companies that are more likely to be sustainable, and are more driven by a work-life balance than generation of wealth.

I am not surprised by these findings (even though they are not beyond question) as it is consistent with my own experience  of conducting many 360o LEIPA Assessments and coaching women leaders (more than men over the last 5 years).  I do believe women probably have naturally more of the “softer” attributes of leadership needed in the 21st century, but they need to overcome a few barriers to help them make the most of their potential.

Our own research at LeaderShape analysed in detail the data from our LEIPA 360o Assessment tool LEIPA of 97 leaders.   This shows there is little difference between male and female leaders in the eyes of the people who work with and for them – although again this could be to some extent because of the different expectations raters have of men and women. This is generally supported by neuroscience which so far shows little difference between male and female brains except related to reproductive functions.

Analysing 92 statements covering 19 emotional intelligence capabilities we only found a significant difference in two of the 19. In Emotional Self Control, men seemed to do better (although on further interrogation it could be that men can more effectively hide their emotions rather than manage them better in a more positive way).

The one area where women are superior is in Service Orientation.

The definition of “Service Orientation” according to Goleman et al (The New Leaders, 2002) is:

Leaders high in the service competence foster an emotional climate so that people directly in touch with the customer or client will keep the relationship on the right track. Such leaders monitor customer or client satisfaction carefully to ensure they are getting what they need. They also make themselves available as needed.

This specifically identifies women as better at customer service and client care (including internal customers) – an absolute essential to a successful and sustainable business.

Surprisingly (to us) women did not feature as better at Empathy than men. This maybe again be due to the expectation of raters but a more likely explanation is that where for many men understanding other people is not high on the agenda, women often confuse it with sympathy – ie. the focus is on sharing another person’s feeling rather than understanding them. In a business environment understanding how someone feels and why can be much more powerful in helping that person towards solutions as compared to sharing their emotions.

A critical aspect of successful leadership where women need to improve is Self-Confidence. And here I am talking about an inner self confidence (“I am happy with who I am”) rather than the macho definition of “I’m the greatest”.

My own qualitative view based on working with many women leaders is that women themselves are generally much less self-confident than the perception they give to the outside world. This is true of many men also but not to the same extent. Women tend to care very much about what people think and say about them (stone-age instincts around their nurturing and community role) and are often anxious about that – whereas men tend to care less. A good driver of course for why women are so service-oriented.

In fact, we have found that a 360o assessment process for a competent woman can be the most valuable intervention of all to increase self-confidence, as it provides proof and reassurance that the people around them think they are operating to a high quality. I have seen many women really blossom as leaders after completing a 360o assessment. Even better if it is part of an integrated  coaching, leadership development and/or women’s peer group programme.

Women also tend to be more dedicated than men at working on their development areas. This often positively impacts their approach to change, risk and conflict.

We are currently expanding the number of leaders for the basis of our research and specifically focusing more on the aspects of self-confidence.

But any future results are unlikely to change my view that a good mixture of men and women make the best leadership teams even if the women have “less experience” as they make up for it with common sense and intuition ..… as long as they have the confidence to speak up!!!

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