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Losing My Future Leader


Forget follow my leader – British businesses risk losing future leaders because of poor management, according to new research released by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The YouGov survey revealed that 11 per cent of the 496 respondents aged 18-24 feel their manager is holding them back. And British businesses are in danger of losing their young talent, as 27 per cent would leave their organisation if they were badly managed.

Bad bosses are putting many young workers off management altogether. Twice as many young people who have had a negative management experience don’t want to become a manager in the future, compared with those who get on well with their superiors.

The lack of strong leadership in British businesses is also breeding cynicism in young people, with a quarter of young workers believing they could do a better job than their current manager.

Top of the list of management don’ts is old style, dictatorial management practices, with managers who look for someone to blame being disliked by 60 per cent of respondents.

Other unpopular types are managers who expect staff to do as they’re told without debate, those who don’t allow staff to contribute and those who are obstructive.

Young people want progressive management to inspire them – 86 per cent of the younger generation put approachability at the top of the list when it comes to desirable management traits, followed by letting staff ‘get on with the job’ (66 per cent), being team-focused (47 per cent) and consultative (47 per cent).

And these youngsters are an ambitious bunch: as 40 per cent say they would like to manage a team of their own within five years.

Yet despite the poor perception of today’s bosses, 61 per cent of future leaders expect to learn about management directly from their own managers.

Kim Parish, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management said: “It’s imperative that we develop our young talent because they have no qualms about moving on.

“Young people will leave organisations if they experience poor management and that, combined with the increasing trend for portfolio careers, means that businesses risk losing the talent they have put so much time, money and effort into recruiting and developing.

“This adds to the challenges for today’s managers – not only must they deliver results, inspire customers and cut costs, but they must involve their team, even when the going gets tough.

“It’s a tall order. Now more than ever managers need support and development: organisations that invest in management qualifications and professional development for their staff will be the winners.”


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