Top 4 Leadership Behaviors In Organizations

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 18, 2015


In recent times, more and more companies are increasing investment in leadership development because a strong leadership indisputably drives performance. A recent McKinsey & Company study that recently looked into this aspect, based their views on 189,000 people in 81 different companies across the globe to find out what types of leadership behaviors they esteemed and therefore look to apply within their organization, and which ones they wanted to avoid.

Here are the top four behaviors of leaders that are preferred in organizations.

Solving problems effectively

The process that precedes decision making is problem solving, when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. This is deceptively difficult to get right, yet it is a key input into decision making for major issues, like an M&A decision as well as for everyday ones such as how to handle a team dispute, says the study.

A strong result orientation

Leadership is about not only developing and communicating a vision and setting objectives but also following through to achieve results. McKinsey study says leaders with a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

Seeking different perspectives

This trait is conspicuous in managers who monitor trends affecting organizations, grasp changes in the environment, encourage employees to contribute ideas that could improve performance, accurately differentiate between important and unimportant issues, and give the appropriate weight to stakeholder concerns. “Leaders who do well on this dimension typically base their decisions on sound analysis and avoid the many biases to which decisions are prone,” says the study.

Supporting others

Leaders who are supportive understand and sense how other people feel. According to the study, by showing authenticity and a sincere interest in those around them, they build trust and inspire and help colleagues to overcome challenges. They intervene in group work to promote organizational efficiency, allaying unwarranted fears about external threats and preventing the energy of employees from dissipating into internal conflict.

Claudio Feser is a director in McKinsey and report co-author states that we’re not saying that the centuries-old debate about what distinguishes great leaders is over or that context is unimportant. “Experience shows that different business situations often require different styles of leadership. We do believe, however, that our research points to a kind of core leadership behavior that will be relevant to most companies today, notably on the front line,” he says.

For organizations investing in the development of their future leaders, prioritizing these four areas is a good place to start.