Poor Relationships Top Cause for Leader Failure

You might call the latest release (yesterday) from Right Management — showing the top reason for a leader’s failure is the inability or unwillingness to build relationships — a bit of ironic timing.

It so happens that’s the premise and focus of our November cover story by Maura Ciccarelli as well.

The study by Right Management, the talent and career-management consulting arm of ManpowerGroup, surveyed more than 1,400 CEOs and human resource professionals from more than 700 companies throughout the world to explore leadership effectiveness and development across regions and cultures. It drew mostly qualitative input from respondents.

“What emerges from the survey … is that leadership success is increasingly dependent on getting along with others in the organization as well as with one’s own team,” says Bram Lowsky, executive vice president of Right Management. “A leader must be able to connect, build relationships and be flexible enough to adapt to the corporate culture.”

According to Lowsky, the findings tend to be consistent across the countries where the survey was conducted: “What we’re learning from research over the past decade is that today’s organizations are increasingly similar, whether Asian, American or European.”

HRE‘s November cover story focuses more specifically on the growing need for chief human resource officers to be able to build trust and respect among executive-team and C-suite members, including the CEO, as they solidify their positions in a whole new strategic domain at the tops of organizations. In the story, HR experts and senior practitioners share views on how best to do that as they grapple with their increasing presence alongside fellow senior leaders.

“When you can have the magic of a team trusting each other and enjoying working well with each other, there is no better professional or personal experience,” Pam Kimmet, senior vice president of human resources for Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., tells Ciccarelli. “I know that sounds really hokey, but it’s really true.”