Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic — What Science Tells Us About Leadership Potential

Although the scientific study of leadership is well established, its key discoveries are unfamiliar to most people, including an alarmingly large proportion of those in charge of evaluating and selecting leaders.
This science-practitioner gap explains our disappointing state of affairs. Leaders should drive employee engagement, yet only 30% of employees are engaged, costing the U.S. economy $550 billion a year in productivity loss. Moreover, a large global survey of employee attitudes toward management suggests that a whopping 82% of people don’t trust their boss. You only need to google “my boss is…” or “my manager is…” and see what the autocomplete text is to get a sense of what most people think of their leaders.
Unsurprisingly, over 50% of employees quit their job because of their managers. As the old saying goes, “people join companies, but quit their bosses.” And the rate of derailment, unethical incidents, and counterproductive work behaviors among leaders is so high that it is hard to be shocked by a leader’s dark side. Research indicates that 30%–60% of leaders act destructively, with an estimated cost of $1–$2.7 million for each failed senior manager.
One of my collateral duties when I was a naval officer was conducting the mandatory interview of enlisted men not "re-upping" at the end of an enlistment contract and submitting a report. The interview always went exactly the same. "Sir, I love the Navy, but I just can't stand the chickenshit any longer."

Harvard Business Review
What Science Tells Us About Leadership Potential
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic | CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a faculty member at Columbia University


Bob said...

Isn't the Navy disparaged by the other branches of the military?

Tom Hickey said...

Each branch disparage the others. Inter-service rivalry.

Each branch has its own culture. The Navy is very feudal and aristocratic in its organizational culture, or at least was. I don't know how things may have changed from my time, but the culture is based on tradition and that is resistant to change even if some of the leadership wants to do it.

I don't know about retention in the other branches and reasons for leaving but the Navy is places a lot of focus on keeping everything "shipshape" to the point of obsessive-compulsiveness that many find harassing.