(Influential Leadership) Are Leadership Skills Still Important?

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Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

A Right Management survey at the end of 2010 of over 2,000 human resource executives, hiring managers and recruiters across 17 countries had the surprising (to me) result that only slightly more than half of Asia-Pacific based respondents rated leadership skill and potential as the number one factor in hiring. Those in North America and Europe rated them significantly more important, at 71% and 61%, respectively.


Why is that? Aren’t leadership skills universally valued?


At the time, Michael Haid, SVP of Talent Management at Right, suggested this wasn’t necessarily a sign of how they regard these skills, but rather a lack of sufficient C Suite candidates with those skills, due to the rapid growth in demand over the past decades.


A survey they conducted a year later of 600+ firms in the US found that the top answer to their number one HR concern for 2012, cited by almost 1/3rd of respondents, was lack of high-potential leaders in the organization. This was statistically unchanged from the prior year.


Said Michael Haid, “After three years of organizational contraction and less internal investment companies are taking a hard look at their onboard talent and aren’t pleased with what they find. Lean times make it hard for organizations seeking to recruit, retain or develop future leaders.”


Has this changed in the interim?


Not according to this article published in Forbes last year:  “Most CEOs Are Not Impressed By Their Company’s Leadership Teams: New Study” 


Consider even just these two findings:

  • Only one-in-three CEOs said their organization’s frontline leadership quality is “very good” or “excellent.”
  • Only 38% of CEOs rated mid-level leaders as “very good” or “excellent.”


This might be very good news if you have well-honed leadership skills. Competition may not be that severe.


Clearly leadership is still very much in demand … so think about what you can do to demonstrate your leadership skills, and to create your own personal development plan to expand on them and develop your own career in the C Suite!

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