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Poor Leadership Is Costing UK Business £6+ Billion per Year

15th January 2007

A new study released today reveals that UK business is suffering from the poor leadership skills of Britain's bosses. The survey shows that business leaders fail across the board at setting clear objectives, motivating staff and weeding out poor performers.

The study commissioned by Ros Taylor Ltd, a leading firm of Chartered Psychologists, asked over 1500 people from different sized organisations throughout the UK about leadership in the work place. They found:

77 percent of respondents said their boss was not interested in them. 90 percent said their boss does nothing about poor performers and 79 percent claim their boss does not set clear objectives. 89 percent said their boss lacks innovation and was unreceptive to new ideas.

"That's only 15% of people we asked who thought their boss was any good and 8% who thought they were inspirational" said Ros Taylor, Managing Director of RTL. "I wish I could say I was shocked - but the truth is it's slightly better than I expected. The fact is that while businesses are quite rightly paying attention to their cost base - squeezing every last ounce of value out of the food chain - they are not so cleverly overlooking a very real business and financial asset. Leadership. Let's forget the old clichťs about "soft skills" - bad leadership costs shareholders and stakeholders real money. While companies are spending millions on automation and the new IT architectures they could be spending thousands and saving millions by sharpening up their leadership assets."

Taylor went on: "Think about it. Many line managers, heads of department and directors are on a minimum £100K+ pa. These people represent something of the order of a £200K+ investment for the company. As a psychologist I am intrigued that companies who bend over backwards to "think smart" ignore this area. It's the "one thing" they could do that would deliver tangible results - and yet the vast majority just don't do it. They probably think that, in the old clichť "leaders are born, not made" and yet in our business we disprove that on an almost daily basis. They can't leave the innovation and blue sky thinking that comes from truly inspirational leadership to chance - or for that matter to a quirk of genetics - it's odd to think that multi national companies who factor the canteen subsidy into the cost of a sausage roll don't have a "leadership development plan".

Ros Taylor is author of a number of books including 'Work Life: Develop Confidence (Essential Managers)' (paperback 31 Aug 2006) and 'The Complete Mind Makeover: Transform Your Life and Achieve Success' (Paperback 1 Sep 2003).

*Estimated cost of stress related sickness absence to the UK:
By CCB Research

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