April is Stress Awareness Month. Let SHRM make your work life easier: Join Now
Shawn Premer shows how doing the right thing for employees leads to positive business results.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
New research pinpoints personality traits successful leaders must emphasize and de-emphasize as they progress in their careers.
PDI Ninth House Pulse on Leaders survey research found that certain traits that facilitate advancement to the business unit leader level actually inhibit progression to the CEO level.
PDI Ninth House, a global leadership solutions company, found that business unit leaders scored the highest in terms of displaying competitiveness and intimidating others, and the lowest in being considerate. CEOs scored highest in being considerate, displaying influence and taking charge, and were the least likely to intimidate others.
“In many ways, the research dispels the old cliché that nice guys finish last in business,” said Joy Hazucha, Ph.D., senior vice president, Leadership Research and Analytics for PDI Ninth House.
PDI Ninth House examined 37,398 leaders from 1,340 companies across 147 countries to compare personality traits among leadership levels, progressing in sequential order starting at first-level leaders and moving on to mid-level leaders, business unit leaders, senior executives and, ultimately, CEOs.
The research suggested that leaders who are competitive and intimidating but lack consideration may find success and advance up to a certain point. The research also showed, however, that those who progress to the top use influence rather than intimidation to direct in a positive way and temper their competitiveness. Consequently, leaders may find it difficult to advance to C-suite roles without shedding those personality traits that helped them get there.
“This research … can help HR focus on alleviating the effects of some traits that prohibit leaders from moving up,” Hazucha told
Specifically, she said that HR may offer guidance on the following:
In comparing leaders at different points in the leadership pipeline, the research identified the top three traits successful leaders must increasingly emphasize as they progress in their career to the C-suite:
The traits that successful leaders must relinquish as they advance to the top:
“We found that successful leaders at the top were more likely to make decisions after consulting and working with others,” Hazucha said. “This spirit of teamwork played out among the most successful leaders, demonstrating that if an organization really wants to have sustainable results, leadership must display teamwork, engagement and provide adequate levels of support.”
The research can also serve as a cautionary tale for HR to share with developing leaders, she said. “Frequently, it’s simply assumed that the most competitive and driven will power their way to the top. But as the data indicated, that only works, really, up to a certain point, if it works at all. Beyond the level of business unit leaders in particular, it’s hard to continue to find success if you’re hard-charging and operate by intimidating others. HR should work with leaders to instead encourage competing externally instead of internally, or with others within the organization,” she said.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
SHRM Online Business Leadership page
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Join SHRM's exclusive peer-to-peer social network
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies