I was reviewing the best articles from McKinsey in 2015 and rediscovered their article about what leadership skills actually makes a difference - out of 20 skills researched, McKinsey found that only four of them accounts for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness:

  • Be supportive
  • Operate with strong results orientation
  • Seek different perspectives
  • Solve problems effectively

...which, of course, you can only agree with :)

However, I think it's interesting that leadership values, being a 'role model' and great motivator is less important and that it's hard skills as results orientation and effectiveness in problem solving that really matters (those of you who know me will know that I couldn't agree more ;)

It suggests that while being a strong and charismatic leader still is important, the hardcore focus on results is even more important which should / could be a lesson for the more consensus-oriented cultures (think Scandinavia)

Of course, this holds true the other way around too. In very authoritative cultures, like the Middle Eastern culture, the take-away from this article should be the seeking of different perspectives and supportiveness, as the culture here is more 'because I say so!' and, in my point of view, should be softened to involve the organization

What I'm getting at is you should take note of these four significant leadership skills, assess your own organizational culture and understand where you need to add and where you need to reduce

This is a great New Year reminder :)

You can read the article from McKinsey here