This article was originally posted by the Center for Creative Leadership.
What are the leadership challenges that organisations face around the world and do these challenges differ around the world? Our researchers went straight to the source to answer these questions, gathering input from 763 middle- and executive-level leaders in organisations from China/Hong Kong, Egypt, India, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S., and Spain.
Our study found these leaders consistently face the same 6 leadership challenges — even if they describe their challenges and specific context in different ways:
1. Developing managerial effectiveness is the challenge of developing the relevant skills — such as time-management, prioritisation, strategic thinking, decision-making, and getting up to speed with the job — to be more effective at work.
2. Inspiring others is the challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they’re satisfied with their jobs and working smarter.
3. Developing employees is the challenge of developing others, including mentoring and coaching.
4. Leading a team is the challenge of team-building, team development, and team management. Specific challenges include how to instill pride, how to provide support, how to lead a big team, and what to do when taking over a new team.
5. Guiding change is the challenge of managing, mobilising, understanding, and leading change. Guiding change includes knowing how to mitigate consequences, overcome resistance to change, and deal with employees’ reactions to change.
6. Managing internal stakeholders is the challenge of managing relationships, politics, and image. This challenge includes gaining managerial support, managing up, and getting buy-in from other departments, groups, or individuals.
Knowing that these leadership challenges are common experiences for middle and senior managers is helpful to both the leaders and those charged with their development, according to our researchers. Individuals can benefit from knowing their experiences aren’t isolated, and can feel more confident reaching out to others for help facing these leadership challenges.
Here are 4 concrete things leaders can do to address these common challenges: