Lack of leadership costs Irish economy billions

5 Apr 2011

Irish businesses could be losing between €3bn-5bn each year due to a lack of effective leadership, according to Deiric McCann, author of a new book titled, Leadership Charisma.

The author claims it contains the largest global research study ever carried out on what makes a great leader.

At the launch of the book, McCann stated, “The cost of the deficit of Irish political leadership over the last decade is now unfortunately clear to all.”

“The cost to Irish business, and indeed the public sector, by poor leadership is less obvious but there all the same,” he added.

On the positive side, McCann revealed that effective executive, public sector and political leadership can be learned. Nearly 400,000 employees shared their views on 40,000 leaders and the results are used in the book as a guide for gaining leadership skills. 

As much as 20pc of Irish employees across the private and public sectors are so dissatisfied with their leaders and management that they are ‘positively disengaged’ from their jobs, according to McCann, who based this finding on a comparison with US and German research.

Leadership Charisma offers a step-by-step guide for leaders wishing to build the sort of charismatic traits that engages people and gets the best from them. Following the launch of the Irish book in Dallas in January, more than 10,000 copies were sold, placing the book at a No 115 ranking on Amazon’s global best-seller list.

“Body language, eye contact, smiling, gestures and touch all have an impact but our research finds that the most critical elements of charisma are the ways in which a leader interacts with the people she or he leads,” said McCann.

Twenty-six out of 70 leadership behaviours researched proved to be fundamental. A charismatic leader listens to others, communicates effectively, cultivates individual talents, motivates successfully, takes action, builds personal relationships, facilitates team success, thinks creatively, displays commitment and seeks improvement.

Leadership Charisma is published by The Liffey Press and is available online and in all major bookshops.

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