Senior managers in Britain have had a credibility issues with their human resources professionals according to a study by Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), which was published in PersonnelToday.

With bosses in the U.K. having been seen as lacking in leadership qualities, the private and public sectors in the U.S. got a wakeup call from the 2010 study.

“It is a real concern that such a high proportion of HR professionals believe their senior teams are falling short,” said Penny de Valk, who is chief executive of the ILM. “This leadership skills gap is holding U.K. businesses back.”

Logical solutions

“We need to get better at developing these essential people leadership capabilities, such as the ability to motivate, alongside the ‘harder’ technical, professional and commercial skills,” she added.

Ninety-four percent of surveyed HR professionals indicate their dire impressions of senior management.

The HR professionals believe executives need to learn how to enhance their leadership skills.

The two most-salient attributes leadership cited by respondents:

  • 36 percent – emotional intelligence
  • 34 percent – ability to motivate staff

Preferred skills

The two most-mentioned skills: Professional/technical and commercial acumen.

The study concluded 24 percent of employers prefer managers who have been successful in come-backing from professional disasters.

ILM’s study included 50 HR respondents at businesses employing more than 1,000 workers.

While it’s a fairly small study, it might be synonymous with the tip of an iceberg of the situation in the U.S.

Certainly, many executives need to learn how to command more respect. Many HR professionals feel unappreciated by senior management, and they need to learn how to earn more respect in the C-suite.

As a matter of fact, all of this is true for other types of professionals.

From the Coach’s Corner, suggested reading on leadership:

Checklist: 10 Tips for Leadership in Business Profit — In the new economy — a former Great Recession that seems to linger and linger — a company will succeed if it’s a leader in generating capital. Unfortunately, this economy has become a zero sum game for many businesses. Why? They stay alive by taking market share from their competitors, not by innovating.

Business Problem Solving Often Means Compartmentalizing — When a businessperson has challenges, it can be overwhelming. If you chat with some businesspeople, they believe they have challenges that no one else has. That’s because they haven’t experienced the new challenges before nor have they heard about the problems elsewhere in their industry.

Leadership Tips for Executing Strategy to Defeat Threats — Multiple solutions might work to triumph over a threat, but a global study in 20 sectors in 20 countries shows execution trumps strategy. Here’s how leaders execute strategy.

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance — For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Peter Drucker


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.