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Leadership through the crisis and after: McKinsey Global Survey results

A global survey of leadership by McKinsey published in October 2009 shows
that executives have markedly changed their leadership styles in the past
year—but not their views on which ones will help companies most in the long
term. And it may come as no surprise to sphinxx readers that many of the most
needed leadership styles, now and in the future, are those used more frequently
by women than by men.

The survey investigates how individual leaders lead and how that has changed
in the past year.  For example, respondents say that during the crisis they have
seen far more leaders focus on monitoring individual performance—even though
they see that as one of the least helpful ways of managing the crisis. The
survey also asked about the organizational capabilities and leadership behavior
organizations will need to thrive during the recovery and about the ways
companies are approaching employee development and gender diversity in the

The kinds of leadership behavior that executives say will most help their
companies through the current crisis, such as inspiring others and defining
expectations and rewards, are the same ones they say will help their companies
thrive in the future. The executives’ assessment of what’s needed for the long
term hasn’t changed over the past year. It is notable that these kinds of
leadership behavior are the ones most used by women
, who also have the
greatest influence on many of the organizational capabilities executives agree
are important for companies now and in the future, such as having inspiring
leaders and a clear direction for companies.

In that context, it’s good news that a majority of the respondents say
their companies have not cut back on programs to recruit, retain, and develop
. However, this news is tempered by the finding that only a third of
the respondents consider gender diversity to be among their companies’ top ten
and that relatively few are taking any specific actions to
promote it.

Click here to access the full survey results.


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