“Effective, dynamic leadership is vital during an economic
downturn” (Sheppard, 2009). Great leaders inspire the innovation and
creativity needed in turbulent times and unite an organisation.
Linda Holbeche (Director of Research and Policy, CIPD) states that
“the current challenging economy requires organisations in every sector
to invest in developing leaders”. She has argued that it is precisely
when times get tough that leadership development is most important. This
is evident in the decline of companies such as Ford and General Motors
which have been attributed to poor leadership.
So, is good leadership really the answer to the recession? I would
argue that it is.
Leadership talent distinguishes between successful and less
successful organisations. In a climate where there is high competition,
success is essential, therefore effective leadership is essential.
Organisations need to look forward. With the baby boomer generation
hitting retirement age in the next 5 years or so, businesses need to
develop leadership talent now to avoid suffering later. I agree with John Casey (President of
Shamrock Consultants) that “it is highly unlikely companies will be able
to capitalise on their other assets without effective leadership”.
Businesses cannot stand still, they must act now! Investment in
effective leadership development is essential to guide organisations
through the recession and ensure success when the recession is over. It
is pointless changing other aspects of an organisation if leadership is
poor. With leadership addressed other organisational functions and
outputs will improve. Leadership is the answer!