In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…LEADERSHIP
Participants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 616 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.
Not all questions were mandatory.
The demographics for this were:
Processing of one word data.
During data analysis, spellings were corrected, and capitalisation resolved. No words were merged.
- Vision 11%
- Direction 10%
- Inspiration 8%
- Inspiring 4%
- Inspirational 3%
- Passion 3%
- Integrity 3%
- Visionary 2%
- Authenticity 2%
- Inspire 2%
Looking at the top 10 words, it can be seen that 15% say leadership to them means Inspiration, with Vision just behind that at 13% (vision & visionary) – if we add Direction into the mix, then this is the clear role of “leadership”
Respondents to the survey are reasonably clear what it is when we look at Leadership. But knowing what it is and experiencing it or developing this ability in others are very different things. The challenge is for “leaders” based on these findings is for “leaders” to live up to the expectations of “inspiring” people. Is this a pedestal that is too high? Is it a realistic expectation?
For sure in many organisations there are individual “leaders”, but is it realistic that our line manager will ne “inspirational”? Some of us may be lucky… but for the rest of us?
Other words used included:
Achievement, aspirational, authentic, authenticity, charisma, charismatic, clarity, coaching, commitment, communicate, communication, control, courage, credibility, decisions, direction, drive, empowering, empowerment, engagement, enthusiasm, enthusing, example, focus, focused, followership, forward, future, genuine, goal, gravitas, guidance, guiding, honesty, influence, influential, innovation, inspiration, inspirational, inspire, inspiring, integrity, knowledge, leader, loyalty, mentor, mentoring, model, motivating, motivation, ownership, passion, power, purpose, respect, responsibility, role, setting, strategic, strategy, strength, tenacity, transformational, trust, values, vision, visionary