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Successful Leadership: What Does It Take?

David_NapoleonSt-Bernard In reporting the results of a global survey, Michael Haid discusses the factors that contribute most to exceptional leadership performance. It turns out that it is not what leaders know, i.e. their skill set, but it is how they fit in their company’s culture, how they are motivated by opportunities within the organization, and how they interact with those around them that result in high performance.

A recent Right Management (a Manpower Company) global study of almost 900 senior leaders and Human Resource professionals revealed surprising insights into the factors that are most likely to predict on-the-job success.

RM_Survey_4-27-10Survey respondents overwhelmingly indicated that organizational culture and motivational fit and appropriate interpersonal skills are most likely to predict executive leadership success, and not the employees’ technical skills, subject-matter expertise or work experience.

It is interesting to note that the number of survey respondents who felt that “organizational culture/motivational fit” contributes the most to leadership excellence was more than 2½ times greater than those who pointed to “technical skills” or “relevant experience” as the most significant factors.

Based on other research on work-related stress (see this post), fit within the company’s structure, good interpersonal skills and management style have also the benefits of reducing the allostatic stress load on executives.

Less stress, or the ability to handle stress well, are contributing factors to success at work as well as in other important balancing aspects of the executive’s life.