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Poor Relationships Is top Cause Of Leadership Failure

The top reason for a leader’s failure is the inability or unwillingness to build relationships and a team environment, according to global survey data released by Right Management, the talent and career-management team of ManpowerGroup.

“Failure to build a team or relationships was singled out by the most (40%) survey respondents,” said Bram Lowsky, executive vice president of Right Management. “Second was mismatch for the corporate culture, cited by 26%. Remarkably, not delivering acceptable results was named by just 11% of respondents as among the main three causes for failure.”

Right Management partnered with research firm Chally Group to survey more than 1,400 CEOs and human-resource professionals from more than 700 companies globally to explore leadership effectiveness and development across regions and cultures.

Respondents identifed the predictors of leadership success with the following frequency:

  • Fit with company values and culture, 68%
  • Interpersonal skills, 66%
  • Motivation to lead, 62%
  • Previous experiences, 57%
  • Lack of “derailers,” 21%
  • Educational background, 11%
  • Other, 4%

The survey drew qualitative input from respondents, Lowsky said. “What emerges from the survey analysis is that leadership success is increasingly dependent on getting along with others in the organization as well as with one’s own team. A leader must be able to connect, build relationships and be flexible enough to adapt to the corporate culture.”

According to Lowsky the findings tend to be consistent across the countries where the survey was conducted. “What we’re learning from research over the past decade is that today’s organizations are increasingly similar, whether Asian, American or European.”

The complete white paper can be downloaded at (free registration required).

About the Survey

The findings presented are based on an analysis of the Right Management segment of the survey’s global database. The data were collected through a survey of 1,439 CEOs and human- resource professionals from 707 organizations. The organizations ranged in size from 500 employees to more than 100,000 employees, with revenues from less than 25 million to more than 10 billion U.S. dollars. The industries represented spanned the public, private and government sectors. Eighty-one percent of the CEOs and 75% of the HR professionals who participated in the study were from North America.

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