Australian business leaders suffering from crisis of confidence

For any business entity to survive and prosper, everyone across the organisation must have complete confidence in its leaders.

According to a new study by the University of Melbourne's Centre for Workplace Leadership, however, the majority of workplaces around Australia do not trust in the competencies of their leaders – certainly a worrying trend and a point of discussion in leadership development.

The extensive study surveyed more than 2,000 employees in Australia and discovered that a staggering 75 per cent of respondents believe their workplace lacks leadership.

Additionally, around a quarter of respondents said there was no one at their organisation they can look up to as a role model. More than a third (35 per cent) of middle and senior managers share this sentiment.

That said, over half (56 per cent) of employees said they did have someone at work they look up to.

Perhaps one of the most telling findings from the study was that three quarters of employees claimed they have the “know-how” to be an effective leader but aren't being provided with the opportunity to put their abilities to the test. This demonstrates the need for organisations to offer leadership development training opportunities to tap into the high potential leadership of their staff.

Professor Peter Gahan, director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership, said that many people aren't aware of the incredibly wide role that leadership plays across an organisation – for example, in productivity levels.

“Leadership is the often neglected ingredient in productivity with studies showing that employees who have greater job satisfaction and motivation create workplaces that have productivity gains of 30 per cent,” he said, as quoted in a February 20 news piece from APN News & Media.