Study finds difference in leadership style

AUSTRALIA’S corporate leaders are very different from their US counterparts according to a study into the personality traits of successful Australian CEOs by global CEO membership organisation, The Executive Connection. The CEO Leadership Study, the first major analysis of its kind, found Australian CEOs were, among other things more entrepreneurial and more willing to confront issues. Undertaken by TEC in partnership with renowned US psychologist, Dr Robert Hogan, and Peter Berry Consultancy, the study analysed the personality traits of effective leaders in Australia and compared Australian leadership skills with US business leaders from Fortune 100 companies, as well as Australian owner-operator CEOs and corporate CEOs. In all, 55 Australian CEOs completed the Hogan Assessment Systems online surveys, with the following conclusions about successful leadership in Australia. •Ambitious: they have the burning desire to be successful, outperform others, find new opportunities and realise profits. •Communicative: they have strong interpersonal skills to build, motivate and sustain high-performing, goal-achieving team. •Energy creators: they make positive, sometimes charismatic impressions on others, creating energy to achieve goals and build long term, profitable relationship. •Strategic strength: they have maturity and emotional strength to cope with problems and still focus positively on the big picture. •Balanced: they are conscientious, reliable, structured and make plans, they are neither control freaks nor compulsive risk takers. •Innovative: they are constantly learning and looking for new training opportunities. “After 20 years of helping CEOs become better leaders, we thought this was a great opportunity for TEC to take a closer look at some of our successful Australian leaders and see what makes them so great,” TEC chief executive Mike O’Neil said. The study suggests that the personality traits of Australian business leaders are also different to those of their US counterparts, indicating: •Australian leaders are more entrepreneurial compared with the US sample; •Australian leaders show a greater sense of urgency and ability to learn from mistakes; •Australian leaders are more willing to confront problem performers; •Australian leaders are more flexible, more tolerant of ambiguity and more willing to change directions quickly; •Australian leaders are more business-focused and less interested in abstract discussions of theory and strategy; •Australian leaders are less conservative and more action-oriented and more risk taking; •Australian leaders are tough, resilient and astute about corporate politics; •Australian leaders are more fun loving, socially engaging, imaginative and visionary; and •Australian leaders place greater value on team building skills, strategic thinking, delegating and being a good organisational citizen.

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