Either Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way

Executives give their peers just passing grades on leadership abilities, according to a new survey. Sixty-one percent of senior managers polled characterized today's corporate leaders as good or excellent in their roles. More than a third (36 percent) of survey respondents said executives today are doing only a fair job.

Accountemps, the world's first and largest temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, developed the survey. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, "How would you rate the leadership abilities of most executives today?" Their responses:

Excellent 12%
Good 49%
Fair 36%
Poor 3%

"Effective management requires more than simply assigning tasks among the team," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies,®(Hungry Minds, Inc.). "Leaders have a responsibility to inspire others to achieve their full potential.

"Those in a position of authority set an example for others," Messmer continued. "Strong leaders have a strategic mindset, sound judgment, enthusiasm for their work and the ability to prioritize competing projects. They also must be able to cultivate these same qualities in the people they hire."

Messmer offers the following suggestions for effective leadership:

  • Develop a clearly defined vision for your department and communicate it to your team.

  • Give employees meaningful responsibilities and provide them with the necessary resources and support.

  • Help individuals learn, grow and realize their professional ambitions.

  • Acknowledge that you don't always have the right answers. Seek and accept the advice of those who have more experience and expertise, regardless of their rank.

  • Keep your word. If you make a commitment, follow through on it.

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