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Leading by numbers

Research into leadership is now a light industry. It’s product, hard data on the soft stuff.

By Stuart Crainer . 10 June 2013

Research into leadership is now a light industry. It's product, hard data on the soft stuff.
Leading by numbers 482x271

4 Leadership Myths


1. Everyone can be a leader
2. Leaders deliver business results.
3. People who get to the top are leaders.
4. Leaders are great coaches.

Source: Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones, “What makes a leader?’ LBSR 2004

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.  The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

George Bernard Shaw. 


Level 5


Jim Collins champions Level 5 Leadership, a blend of selflessness, humility and iron will. The simple formula is:


Humility + Will = Level 5


Source: Jim Collins, Good to Great, Random House, 2001


4 Key functions of the leader


  • Providing strategic direction

  • Monitoring team performance

  • Instructing team members

  • Providing hands-on assistance as required.


Source: Katherine Klein, LBSR 2005

“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.”


Aldous Huxley 


Five principles for good leadership 


1. Be real
2. Decentre
3. Build ensembles
4. Scan and scout
5. Frame the journey

Source: Nigel Nicholson, The “I” of Leadership, Jossey Bass 2013


10% The leadership effect


Research by Rakesh Khurana of Harvard Business School estimates that anywhere from 30 to 40% of corporate performance can be attributed to industry effects; 10-20% to cyclical economic changes; and 10% to the CEO.


Source: “A leadership miscellany”, LBSR, 2005


39% Crime figures


NYPD chief Bill Bratton cut felonies by 39%, murders by 50% and theft by 35% in just two years. His leadership was built on 4 elements:


The cognitive - communicating and ensuring managers are in touch with the problems.
Politics – keeping internal foes quiet and isolating external ones.
Resources – initially concentrating on trouble areas.
Motivation – matching messages to various levels within the organisation.


Source: W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, “Tipping point leadership”, Harvard Business Review, April 2003


Why follow?


  • Gallup’s Strengths Based Leadership research asked 10,004 people why they followed certain leaders:
  • Trust (other words cited by followers included: honesty, integrity, and respect)
  • Compassion (other words cited by followers included: caring, friendship, happiness, and love)
  • Stability (other words cited by followers included: security, strength, support, and peace)
  • Hope (other words cited by followers included: direction, faith, and guidance)


Source: www.gallup.com

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