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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

Leaders at Every Level

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Recently one of our associates attended a presentation by Simon Sinek. In our blog ‘Three Key Areas to Improve Employee Well-Being,’ we included a quote that Sinek used:

‘People come to work to be lead, not to be managed.’

This really hits the nail on the head.

For all the transformation being planned, for all the new technology being introduced and for all the money spent on employee engagement, one thing is for sure. Initiatives will fail unless there is effective leadership at every level in the company.

More people leave their job because they don’t get on with their immediate leader than any other reason.

But the sad fact is leadership is in short supply (there’s a parallel here between business and the current state of politics).

The consensus is that management and leadership skills can be learnt. But companies spend more time on the former than the latter: everyone knows how to write SMART objectives or complete performance appraisal forms or do absence returns.

Developing real leaders, though, is a real thorny problem

  • It’s a problem that comes up regularly in Deloitte’s annual Global Human Capital Trends (see, for example, ‘Leadership: Why a Perennial Issue?’ 2015).

  • It’s a problem that’s featured in the latest edition of the ‘Harvard Business Review’ (‘Turning High Potential into Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development’ December 2017).

The difficulty is that true Leadership isn’t about hard competencies that can be measured and assessed. True leadership is about the softer / human skills and high levels of emotional intelligence:

  1. It’s about trust – which has to be earned – you can’t send a memo instructing people to trust you

  2. It’s about courage – taking responsibility when things go wrong and making sure the team take the praise when things go right

  3. It’s about seeing things the way they are - and getting the message across in the best way possible.

And more than anything it’s about empathy – the kind of empathy described by Brene Brown in this fabulous video:

So, to all our customers, clients, candidates, associates, readers and friends we hope you had a Merry Christmas and wish you all the success for this New Year.

And to all of you in Human Resources or Senior Management positions we trust that you’ll truly focus on recruiting and developing leaders at every level in 2018.

Yasmine Johnson is Director: Operations and Recruitment Services at EGM: Executive Search and Recruitment.

For more information about what 2018 could bring to you and workforce please visit or contact Yasmine -

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