While business leaders across Australia are highly rated when it comes to technical and professional expertise and the ability to drive results, research from global consultancy and training firm rogenSi suggests that their ability to inspire and motivate others to high performance is critically lacking.
“The good news for business leaders is that the ability to inspire and motivate can be modelled, replicated, and rehearsed, even by those who might more naturally shy away from the limelight that leadership brings,” said Terry Reynolds, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific, rogenSi.
“I’ve seen technical experts with no inclination to take the stage, grow into highly accomplished speakers and – through this and other platforms – become extraordinarily inspiring from what they would concede was a very low starting point. I’m not suggesting that this is easy, but it is absolutely possible.”
Part of the issue could be attributed to our leaders’ “preoccupation with reaching the targets and deliverables”, said HR professional Natasha Hawker from Employee Matters.
“In my experience, we haven’t factored in time for leaders to invest in their people and in particular, getting to know them very well. In reality, we need time for leaders to engage with their team and invest the time to inspire them,” she said.
While this undoubtedly includes a strong and engaged workforce, organisations aren’t necessarily focused on developing their leaders to use the effective motivational techniques, Hawker added.
“We need to inspire our employees to greatness and I see this as the number one trait of an exceptional leader. If you were to think about some of the world’s most inspirational leaders Mandela, Branson and Churchill, do you remember them for their technical ability – or for their ability to inspire the masses?”
As HR practitioners know, effective and inspirational leadership is fundamental to achieving positive HR outcomes – so it’s somewhat troubling that Aussie leaders lack the ability to inspire and motivate, according to new research.