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A new type of leadership is needed in modern organisations in order to build positive workplace cultures that get the best out of people and support innovation, empowerment and ethical behaviour, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Its report Perspectives on leadership in 2012: Implications for HR summarises the main developments in recent leadership theory and leadership development, as well as the key role of HR in building leadership capability.
It highlights various factors that are influencing leadership theory, including falling levels of trust in political and business leadership as a result of the financial crisis, the MPs expenses scandal and public concern over excessive boardroom pay, bonuses and rewards for failure.
The report authors, Rachel Lewis and Emma Donaldson-Feilder, examine the elements of three emerging strands of leadership theory, two of which emphasise the importance of leaders who are self-aware and can display honesty, integrity and strongly held ethical and moral principles.
Peter Cheese, CEO at the CIPD, says: “Leadership is no longer just about the boardroom; managers at all levels need leadership skills – the power to win people’s hearts and minds and build relationships based on mutual trust and respect. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, the key to performance is through engaging employees in ways that produce discretionary effort and creating an environment which encourages greater employee empowerment and voice to facilitate the exchange of ideas and know-how.”
“Today’s leaders need to be self aware, have a strong moral compass, and understand that their behaviour is key to whether an organisation’s values are worth more than a passing reference in the annual report or on the company intranet.
“In order to build this type of leadership capability, the role of HR is fundamental. HR needs to ensure that how managers are recruited, managed, trained and promoted supports the development of required leadership skills and behaviours. HR must ensure that leadership development frameworks are aligned with organisations’ core purpose and values and understand how to deploy a range of ongoing learning interventions that actually lead to sustained behaviour change. The days of sheep-dip manager training are over.”