Cracking the Code

Talent Management | Feb 15, 2010
By: Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood

There are rules to most games, just as there are winners and losers. In business, these factors are also evident, and effective leadership, for which there are five major rules, is a key strategy that organizations need to win.

Google the words “leader” and “leadership,” and there are some 487 million hits. That’s an awful lot of information to answer one simple but essential question: What attributes are necessary for leaders to actually generate strategic business results?

Our research at The RBL Group has uncovered a leadership code (Figure 1) — five key attributes or rules shared by the majority of effective leaders.

To get there, we turned to recognized experts in the field who had already spent years sifting through the evidence and developing their own theories. These thought leaders have each published a theory of leadership based on a long history of research and empirical assessment of what makes effective leadership. Collectively, they have written more than 50 books on leadership and performed more than 2 million leadership 360s.

See what two questions were answered through discussions with these thought leaders.