Saturday, July 30, 2011

Does The Quality Of Leadership Matter?

Put 10 people in a room and ask them how they define leadership.  Chances are, you’ll get a lively debate but not a lot of agreement.  The word “leadership” can mean very different things to different people.  Some believe that a leader’s key responsibility is to nourish and cultivate team members, while others believe that it is to drive growth and innovation.  The reality, of course, is that both perspectives are true.  Still, no matter how they define leadership, those 10 people will probably agree on one thing: Leadership makes a difference.

The difference between the impact that a top-performing leader and an average leader has on an organization is at least 50 percent, according to leaders participating in DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2011.  In fact, this research demonstrates that organizations with the highest quality leaders were 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key bottom-line metrics such as financial performance, quality of products and services, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.  Specifically, when leaders reported their organization’s current leadership quality as poor, only 6 percent of them were in organizations that outperformed their competition.  Compare that with those who rated their organization’s leadership quality as excellent – 78 percent were in organizations that outperformed their competition in bottom-line metrics.

In this study of 1,897 HR representatives and more than 12,000 leaders from 74 countries some of the global findings are:

Leader quality is low and hasn’t budged. 

Only 1 out of 4 organizations (as rated by HR representatives) rated leadership quality as very good or excellent.  With leaders themselves, a little more than 1 out of 3 three gave themselves and their peers high marks – consistent with the same study from two years ago, telling us that we’ve made very little progress.  We also broke down the results geographically to see how some of the countries fared. In a comparison between China and India, India dramatically outperformed China, and was well above the global norms when it came to the quality of leadership.

Organizations are not confident in the future of their leaders. 

A mere 18% rated the bench strength for the future as strong.  As baby boomer retirements loom and organizations on the precipice of recovery and growth, confidence in the next generation of leaders should be much stronger.  As one leader said: “We need to develop key talent for the future in a strategic way, not by default.”  It can also be explained by the fact that while ‘identifying and developing future talent’ was rated as one of the top skills needed for leaders in the future, it was not rated as a top skill that was needed in the past, and a staggering 43 percent of leaders said they’re ineffective at doing this.

We’re falling down on innovation.  Innovation rocketed up the list as a skill needed for the future, however, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group, the US is investing the least in innovation when compared to other countries around the world.

However, half of leaders rated themselves as ineffective at fostering creativity and innovation, the highest among all of the future necessary skills.  One answer to this could be the high occurrence of leadership “derailers” or dispositional qualities that HR identified were the most common personality shortcomings of leaders in their organization.  The high occurrence of risk aversion, distrust and approval dependence, which were likely to be reinforced as a means of survival during the economic downturn, are qualities that will squash innovation.

Rigid management practices are holding organizations back. 

When looking at Gary Hamel’s factors for management innovation, 6 out of 10 leaders said that key business decisions were made by those in power with little discussion, and more than half said they’re in organizations that are rigid, siloed or hierarchical.  Why the concern over updating management practices?  Organizations with effective management cultures were more than two and a half times more likely to have highly passionate leaders.

And we know passion is important because leaders in organizations with higher quality leadership were almost eight times more likely to report that the passion of their leaders is high.

So what do you think – how does leadership quality impact an organization?

[by Rich Wellins, Senior Vice President, Development Dimensions International (DDI)]

Leadership Development Must Include Reading

Pastor Ron Martin's Father Passes

Thomas “Sonny” Martin, 78 of Farmington, WV passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at his son’s home in Cottondale, Alabama near Tuscaloosa.

Mr. Martin was born July 7, 1933, a son of the late Harold and Vivian Bainbridge Martin.

Sonny worked at the Times West Virginian as a Printer for 37 years.  He was a member of the Katy Church of God of Prophecy and also attended Ireland Chapel.  Sonny loved church and he worked in the church for years in a variety of ministries, he especially love to sing in the church.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and was stationed throughout Europe during the Korean Conflict.  He loved sports of all kinds and was fortunate enough to get to play them often during his enlistment in the armed forces, back in the states Sonny played fast pitch softball and enjoyed playing basketball with his best buddies Darryl Courtney and Scott Tharp.  Sonny always had a smile on his face and never met a stranger.

Mr. Martin is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Pastor Ron and Pamela Martin; three grandchildren Aaron Martin, Courtney and Husband Brandon White, and Michael Ford; a sister Emma “Jean” Jones and husband Russell; brothers-in-law Harold Markley and wife Nancy and Pete Markley and wife Pebbles.  A special cousin Joni Abel and husband Bob and several additional nieces and nephews.

The Rev. Ron Martin serves as Senior Pastor at Cottondale Community Church, a thriving ministry near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Pastor Martin has served in a number of ministerial leadership positions during his lifetime of ministry.

In addition to his parents Sonny Martin was preceded in death by his wife Maxine Martin and a brother Bob Bainbridge.

Friends may call at the Hutson Funeral Home, Route 250 Farmington today, Saturday, July 30 from 5-9 pm and on Sunday from 11am until 2pm when funeral services will be held at 2pm.  Rev. Richard Fluharty and Rev. Ron Martin will be officiating.  Mr. Martin will be laid to rest beside his wife Maxine in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Farmington.

Online Condolences may be sent to the family at

Crystal Cathedral Returns Schuller's Voting Rights

The founding pastor of Crystal Cathedral, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, has been reinstated on the board of directors and given back voting rights as two members who called for his ouster last month are dropped from the committee.

The church, currently trying to wade its way out of a debt crisis, decided in a meeting last Friday to “expand and enlarge the board,” according to a statement posted Wednesday on the Crystal Cathedral website.

Schuller, 84, is identified as Chairman Emeritus in the list of current board members.

“This new Board of Directors, created today, is a formula that will guarantee success for both our local Crystal Cathedral ministry and its ministry mission to the people of the world through the televised ‘Hour of Power,’ now in its 43rd year,” Schuller said in the statement.

Two board members, Rick Mysse and Gwyn Myers, were voted off the board, church spokesman John Charles told the Orange County Register.  He told the news agency that both Mysse and Myers had voted in favor of stripping Schuller of his vote during last June’s meeting.

According to Schuller’s daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, neither of her parents attended the meeting in which Schuller was voted off the board, the paper reported.  Milner said the pair were “extremely upset” when they learned that Schuller had been voted off.

The evangelical church, located in Garden Grove, Calif., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of last year and its leaders have since been fielding offers from various groups interested in purchasing the megachurch, including the Roman Catholic Church. The church currently owes over $50 million to unsecured creditors.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has offered $50 million to buy Crystal Cathedral's campus and convert the historical church into a Catholic cathedral.

Chapman University, a private university near the church, has offered to buy the Crystal Cathedral campus for $46 million.

“He would be open to all proposals including the Catholic Church,” Milner told the Orange County Register about the elder Schuller's reaction to the $50 million-offer.  “But the ideal situation would be to have Crystal Cathedral Ministries continue and be there for generations to come.”

[By Nicola Menzie | Christian Post Contributor]