International Business Report (IBR)

Modern trends in business leadership

Christian Martin Christian Martin

Business leadership: uncovering modern trendsModernists

The role of leaders in creating successful businesses and driving growth is crucial. How these leaders run their teams and make decisions can be the difference between success and failure.  But do the leadership characteristics displayed by leaders vary from region to region? From developed to developing market? From higher growth to lower growth business? And how does this affect the way in which businesses operate?

In October last year, we interviewed 3,500 business leaders across 45 economies through the International Business Report (IBR) to understand what good leadership means around the world. Respondents were asked a range of questions; from whether they had ever used a coach to what they think are the most important attributes in leadership.

Key findings from the report:

  • two distinct styles of leaders emerged from the research; Modernists. In emerging markets like Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam we see leaders much more open to drawing on their intuition and creative instincts; the Traditionalists, generally found in European economies like France, Germany, Spain and the UK, where rank intuition and creativity as less important [read blog from Francesca Lagerberg explaining the distinction]
  • interestingly, these results mirror the IBR women in business results: where we see more women, we see greater openness to coaching, greater emphasis on using creativity and intuition and more willingness to delegate [read the full press release]
  • leaders of dynamic businesses are more likely to have used to a coach [see data visualisation tool], are more likely to use their intuition or experience to make decisions, and are more open to open to a range of improvement techniques including setting challenging goals and monitoring progress, leadership skills assessments, and developing peer networks.
  • three attributes of good leadership stood out globally and across all regions and sectors: integrity, positive attitude and communication

In the following video some of our senior leaders discuss the results and reveal their own leaderships styles.

Dominic King, Editor, global research +44 (0) 207 391 9537