Uninspiring UK Business Leaders Cost the Economy over £35bn a Year

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Research by Talent Gene has shown that less than 10% of individuals in business leadership roles are seen as inspirational, and this lack of leadership skills costs UK industry over £35bn a year.

Inspirational leadership, leadership qualities, qualities of a good leader

Leadership Skills - The 7 Qualities of an Inspirational Leader

The dearth of inspirational leaders in UK businesses has serious implications for productivity. We know from extensive research that a major component of productivity is the quality of the leadership within a business.

Research by Talent Gene and Zircon Psychologists of over 120 UK organisations has shown that less than 10% of individuals in leadership roles are seen as inspirational. Talent Gene and Zircon have suggested that the loss of revenue in the UK through a lack of high quality leadership skills through Inspirational Leadership can be calculated in excess of £35 billion a year.

The research also shows that of the senior managers questioned, only 23% had met more than 5 inspirational leaders in the last 10 years. The majority are competent and fulfil business requirements rather than exceeding them. Dr Amanda Potter, CEO of Talent Gene states that, “the dearth of inspirational leaders in UK businesses has serious implications for staff retention and productivity. In 2013, the Office for National Statistics highlighted that UK organisations have, on average, a 17% lower output per hour than other G7 regions surveyed. We know from extensive research that a major component of productivity is the quality of the leadership within a business.”

Dr Amanda Potter goes on to state that, “there seems to be a blind spot when it comes to the quality of leadership within organisations. In business, you would not tolerate unaligned processes or systems which are not fit for purpose. Yet businesses seem more reluctant to challenge the standard of their leadership. Perhaps there is a view that it is harder to measure leadership qualities than other more homogenous resources? However, such measurement is exactly what we do.”

The quality of leadership in organisations also directly impacts areas such as morale, staff and customer retention, staff up-skilling, and creativity within the workforce. The costs to the UK economy are likely to be far larger, and are a major issue for UK businesses. Anthony Carnell from Talent Gene says, “We have been very conservative in working through the figures for the cost to the UK economy. The actual costs are likely to be far greater than £35bn. The good news is that compared to other possible business improvements, this is a relatively simple, low-cost boost for any organisation’s turnover and profitability.”

The research has found that the main qualities of being an Inspirational Leader are Integrity, Charisma, Drive, Vision, Engagement, and Passion. You can download the research results at http://www.thetalentgene.com/inspire. According to Talent Gene, the qualities of Inspirational leadership are all measurable. As Dr Amanda Potter states, “For any organisation that views productivity and staff retention as critical to their success, this is an urgent need to be addressed. Inspirational Leadership can be integrated into any selection process and can be developed into an organisation’s current leadership team.”

Talent Gene is running a poll asking, “Is your manager an Inspirational Leader?” The poll also asks, “Which political party leader is most inspirational?” You can vote and find the poll results here, and you will also find some ideas for assessing and developing leadership skills.

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Anthony Carnell
Talent Gene
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