Leadership is no longer just about the boardroom, CIPD claims
In order to build positive workplace cultures that get the best out of people and support innovation, a new type of leadership is needed.
This was a key finding emerging from research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development around senior practitioners' perspectives on leadership in 2012.
The study 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, MPs expenses and concerns over excessive boardroom pay.
The report emphasises the importance of leaders who are self-aware and can display honesty, integrity and strongly held ethical and moral principles. It also focuses on how leadership is influenced by the culture and systems of the organisation as a whole, for example, by its values and the extent to which managers are empowered to lead at all levels of an organisation.
Peter Cheese, CEO at the CIPD, said: "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."
Further findings indicate key insights for leadership development suggesting that if a manager regards themselves as a leader they are more likely to behave like one. Managers must also want to learn if development activities are to have any impact so a focus on understanding why people might be motivated to become leaders is also crucial.
"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," said Cheese.
"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."