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Real-life leaders

A new report by the CIPD presents a series of challenges that businesses may face when training effective leaders. It provides recommendations for a systemic approach to leadership and management development.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of Real-life leaders

Real-life leaders:
closing the knowing-doing gap

A wealth of academic and practitioner knowledge on leadership
66% of organisations provide training for managers
Management capability is still a major concern for 72% of organisations
Where are the leaders?
The term ‘leader’ often describes a senior manager: in 48% of organisations leadership development mainly targets the executive team
Few junior managers and supervisors see themselves as leaders: only 8% thought being good at motivating the team made them effective; the majority focus on their technical skills
What is the context?
Managers feel they are unable to support the interests and/or well-being of their team members because they have to prioritise other aspects of their job.

They also do not feel incentivised to manage team’s interests.

Almost one in four junior managers, said they do not have time for one-to-one management.

What is in a manager's job?
Only 41% managers think putting the needs of the team above their own is part of their job.
28% of employees said that their manager frequently uses their authority to get their own way; 39% of line managers could say the same about their boss.
48% of HR professionals said 'performance' was the most important criterion when promoting individuals into managerial jobs

Is knowing the same as doing?
Organisations need to get smarter about identifying training needs and supporting individual leaders
Trustworthy leaders?
Only 53% said their line manager would be the first person they would approach for support/advice on a work issue
A further quarter (25%) would approach another colleague at their level - particularly if the manager scored low on interpersonal skills
Are we focusing on the right things?
Our research approach
1. A survey of 2,069 UK employees, of whom 806 had responsibility for managing others directly.
2. A survey of CIPD members (HR professionals) involved in or responsible for leadership and management development activities in their organisations.
3. A survey of 250 senior decision-makers and 128 senior HR professionals.
4. Interviews with managers and employees
Leadership and management
Leaders could hold manager roles, but could also emerge informally

Leadership exists 'between' the leader and the follower

Providing direction can be one of the forms of leadership
Management is administration, planning and organising processes or people, associated with a formal role within an organisation
Leadership is influencing others to agree what needs to be done and how to do it, and facilitating achievement of these objectives
Not all leaders are managers
‘ I wouldn’t say she is a natural leader in the traditional sense that she would lead a team. But she would lead comfortably her peers, sharing her knowledge. Recently she has taken away a project for herself...she delegated some to others but she is still leading it and controlling it and dealing with it – not as a formal leader – but with her own ability and confidence to get the work done. And she has that credibility to lead others.’
1. Agree what the definition of leadership is in the specific organisational context, and who is expected to be a leader
3. Be consistent in your approach to leadership development: incentives should match the expectations
2. Consider the wider organisational context
% of managers who face situations where they have to put the interests of the organisation above the interests and/or wellbeing of the team members
every day or often
Impact of managers' behaviours on employee outcomes
The top reason for the non-motivated and/or dissatisfied employees to contribute discretionary effort is the expectation of a reward/bonus (32%), while motivated/satisfied employees cite the quality of relationship with their manager.
19 %
senior managers
24 %
junior managers
31 %
middle managers
‘Some of what we are given is the “what” and you can’t move it sometimes, it’s how we influence, it is how we go about it, so that is how we take control and deliver it brilliantly as a team. So I think that [for me leadership means] I can vision well, I can tell a story definitely well and put them in it so that they can see themselves in it.’
Dealing with the context is part of a leader's responsibility
In your performance review are you evaluated on people management skills?
About CIPD
The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. We have over 130,000 members internationally – working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting across private businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors.
Our purpose is to champion better work and working lives by improving practices in people and organisation development, for the benefit of individuals, businesses, economies and society.
Download the report and access other leadership resources:
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