Thursday, 4 February 2010

Only 33% of UK employees trust their senior managers

This is the (almost shocking) finding from the UK's Chartered Institute of Personel & Development. It means of course that 66% of UK employees DON'T trust their senior managers.

The report suggests that UK employees don't trust their senior managers to:

a) tell them the truth
b) keep them informed, or
c) do what's best for the employees rather than what's best for the organization or for the manager themselves

As TRUST is one of the positive leadership outcomes that is achieved by Authentic Leaders, it's understandable why I am beginning to see job adverts in the UK press actually asking for 'authentic' leaders.

But my question (and my concern) is, do employers actually know what they're asking for if they say that they want an authentic leader AND MOREOVER, how on earth are they going to measure it?!

If the quality of someone's leadership is best defined through the perception of their followers, how is an interviewer going to identify that within the recruitment process? Are we going to have interviews informed by 360 degree feedback appraisals? I don't think so! (Although I do know of quite a few candidates who take their Thinking Styles feedback report to interviews to show recuiters the strength and quality of their thinking, so who knows!)

To download a full copy of the report and it's findings follow this hyperlink:

If you are interested in more information about what Authentic Leadership is and the PhD research that I am conducting into it, please have a look at the Resources page on the Cognitive Fitness website

My own personal opinion is that what organizations have identified is what the literature has already said about authentic leadership, which is that interventions made by Authentic Leaders are more favourably received by followers; meaning that positive outcomes such as trust, optimism and the quality of relationships are all magnified by the lens of Authentic Leadership. Outcomes are more influential and their resultant impact is increased; Authentic Leadership is therefore a ‘leadership multiplier’ (Chan et al. 2005)

If organizations really do want to employ Authentic Leaders they need to be very clear about what that means and why they would want to do that; Authentic Leaders are very much their own people, - they have their own recognizable voices and are not 'yes men' (or, for that matter, women). If they believe that something is ethically wrong, not only will they say so, they will actively oppose it.

As recent research has also identified that organizations led ethically out-perform those organizations which are not, perhaps it it these outstanding results that organizations want to achieve rather than Authentic Leadership per se ............

........... or perhaps I'm just being cynical? For the sake of our global community and for our planet, I hope not.

My best wishes as always,