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Largest Proportion of European Strategic Leaders are Women Over 55

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The report found that currently only eight per cent of professionals have strategic leadership capabilities. These are people who generate organisational and personal transformation. They are often shaped by different experiences to their peers and see the world differently to conventional leaders. As a result, they have developed a particular type of “action logic” or leadership style that enables them to lead organisations through the most complex transformations. When a similar study was carried out ten years ago, just seven per cent of the sample were found to be strategists.

Businesswoman giving presentation to three business executives --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

The work of strategists, according to the report, is underpinned by inquiry-based experimentation. They see both the vision and detail, employ positive language and exercise power courageously. They also understand the complexity of the environment in which they’re working and are able to employ passionate detachment. Though strategists reside in every grouping identified by the report, the largest proportion of strategic leaders were found to be women over 55.

Other groupings include individualists, constituting 33 per cent of the professionals surveyed as part of the report. These are people who interweave personal and company logic, bridge gaps between strategy and performance and are often effective in consulting roles. Achievers (55 per cent of the sample) juggle management duties and market demands. They are both action and goal orientated. Experts (7 per cent), on the other hand, rule by logic and expertise. They seek rational efficiency and are good as individual contributors.

The research for the report was conducted through a survey of 6000 European professionals’ leadership capabilities by psychometric specialists Harthill Consulting.

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