Read an Excerpt
Global Leadership: The Next Generation is a summary of two years of knowledge acquisition, research, and interviews sponsored by Accenture and concluded in partnership with Marshall Goldsmith and his colleagues in the Alliance for Strategic Leadership. This book also builds upon valuable contributions by Warren Bennis and John O'Neil.
This book is unique. Instead of interviewing current CEOs and executives (who will not be running the organizations of the future), we interviewed future CEOs and executives who will be running the organizations of the future. What lies within these pages is written from the point of view of the next generation of global leaders. Accenture sponsored thought leader panels and focus and dialogue groups with high-potential leaders from around the world. In addition to these groups, more than 200 specially selected high-potential leaders from 120 international companies were interviewed in great depth. Since each company could nominate no more than two future leaders, these were some of the highest potential leaders in the world! Over three-fifths of these future leaders were under the age of 40, and more than a third were in their 20s. It is from research that the Global Leader of the Future Inventory, the basis for the chapters and sections of this book, was developed.Leadership Can Be Learned
There has been an unprecedented surge of interest in business leadership in recent years, particularly in the qualities that the effective leader should possess now and in the future. With the shape of companies and the style of operation changing so fast, there is a natural concern that current leadership standards and styles are not keepingpace and will be still further behind in years to come. In markets of all sorts, leadership is getting tougher, particularly at the top: corporations grow in size and complexity; competition becomes ever sharper and stakeholders, more demanding.
Perhaps in consequence, leaders are staying in the top jobs for shorter and shorter periods. In some sectors, average tenures have halved over the past decade, perhaps due to stress, challenges, politics, health, or other reasons.
In the business context, the interaction between leader and led makes each combination unique. A simplistic, one-size-fits-all prescription can sometimes be valueless. But leadership can be learned, so we decided to conduct wide-ranging research to identify the many competencies, values, and characteristics that leaders and potential leaders must develop to meet not just present challenges, but the rather larger ones posed by the far-reaching changes expected in future corporate structures. Development lead times imply that companies must start the process right now if they are to be successful in developing the next generation of global leaders.
Many factors are transforming the context of leadership today: globalization and technological change lead to heightened competition, which in turn leads to new organizational models. Boundary integration, the result of alliances and mergers, technology, and globalization, as well as the emergence of a knowledge-based workforce so varied and different from its predecessors, place a relentless emphasis on innovation, adaptability, and collaboration. Information technology offers new working practices, but demands new strategies. These chaotic changes are leading to an ever-more complex business environment, full of leadership challenges.
Because no individual is likely to embody all of the needed and critical capabilities, and because the very nature of business organizationmerged, allianced, outsourced, and virtualis beginning to dictate it, shared leadership is expected to gain preeminence as the operating model of the future. In the future, there will be fewer "all-knowing" CEOs; instead, leadership will be widely shared in executive teams. New demands for collective responsibility and accountability for results will emerge, as will new competencies for sharing leadership. The sheer number of alliances and networks means that more than one person will lead these structures.
Effective leadership will be key to sustained business success. Current leaders are rightly concerned by their challenge in recruiting, training, and developing the leaders who will be needed in the future. The future leaders in our study see the value of these new competencies and are willing to have their performance measured by them. If future leaders have the wisdom to learn from the experience of present leaders, and if present leaders have the wisdom to learn new competencies from future leaders, both can share leadership in a way that ultimately benefits their organization.Using This BookThe Chapters
Each chapter of this book offers a description of one of the 15 dimensions of the effective global leader, as well as a resource section that includes action steps, additional resources, and suggested reading materials. The chapter text offers the authors' insights into the dimensions of leadership, as well as supportive quotes from our interviews, conducted by Maya Hu-Chan and Jeremy Solomons, with more than 200 high-potential leaders from 120 companies and organizations around the world. To protect the interviewees' anonymity, we have not used any names; however, we have included each respondent's industry, age, and country of employment and origin. (Please see Appendix B for a list of the interview questions.)
The resource section at the end of each chapter (signified by a gray bar at the side of the page) is designed to help you improve as a leader. To use the resource sections, follow the steps outlined below:
- Identify several items to improve upon from the Global Leader of the Future Inventory.
- Find these areas and specific items in the Table of Contents.
- Turn to the page(s) you identified in the Table of Contents and review the information for suggested actions, additional resources, and readings.
- Reflect on who in your environment may have the qualities and characteristics you have selected as items to improve upon from your list. Keep track of who these people are for future networking.
- What to do: This section includes a list of actions you can take to improve the way you demonstrate and convey the desired global leadership qualities. If you like an action but have a hard time picturing how you would implement it, see the next section.
- How to do it: This section includes suggestions that specifically describe the behaviors, attitudes, and actions that better demonstrate global values of leadership. You are encouraged to read the entire list. After reading the entire list, if you do not find an action that suits you, then research the cross-reference items.
- How to use this skill further: This section includes suggestions for actions you can take to augment your efforts to improve your behavior or to capitalize on the strengths you already have in this particular skill. Suggestions from this section are not limited to the workplace. You can apply these suggestions to your life outside the office to enhance a particular skill.
- Results you can expect: This section provides suggested specific results that may occur upon improving your performance.
- Readings: The reading lists include classic masterpieces, top-weighted management resources, cutting-edge resource books that illustrate the most up-to-date leadership issues, and other helpful management tools to improve your skills. We chose materials and resources that have excellent professional and reader reviews, and we attempted to get multiple perspectives on each topic.
- Related items: This section lists related items within the book that you can cross-reference with the current item number to gain the greatest benefit.
- Networking: Refer to your list of potential leadership partners to continue your own efforts to capitalize on the strength of shared leadership models.
The Global Leader of the Future Inventory, included as an assessment tool, has been developed based on the further involvement of A4SL (Alliance for Strategic Leadership), Marshall Goldsmith, and Kim Jackson. The inventory as well as the interview questions used in our research phase to initiate discussions of leadership and to measure perceptions of the criticality and importance of selected global leadership dimensions for the past, present, and future have been revamped for use as assessment tools by the readers of this book. You will find the interview questions and inventory in Appendixes B and C respectively. Use these tools to determine areas in which you might improve, or use them in a group or team to assess areas for development. Use the chapters for their in-depth description of leadership qualities and characteristics and how to achieve effective leadership. If you are interested in using this survey on its own or as part of a larger leadership development program, visit the Forum Corporation web site (<http://www.Forum.com>) or contact one of the following Forum offices for assistance:
- In the United States, Canada, and South America: 1-800-Forum11 (367-8611)
- In Europe and the Middle East: +44-0-20-7010-2600
- In Asia and the Far East: 852-2810-7071
Our research findings show that the 15 dimensions of leadership will be key for the effective global leader of the future. No one leader can be expected to excel in every dimension. This leads us to the conclusion that shared leadership across a team of leaders may be the standard mode of operation in which excellent global companies do business in the future. This theme will be consistently repeated and reinforced in many of the chapters of this book.
The Forum Corporation is a pioneer in the use of 360-degree feedback. Forum, with 700 professionals worldwide, is a global leader in workplace learning. As the corporate learning arm of Pearson plc, Forum partners with the world's leading companies to help them implement strategy, solve problems, and perform better. Forum consultants are recognized experts in leadership development, branding the customer experience, building world-class sales teams, and creating blended learning solutions.