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We launched the Good Leadership in UK Business report today, which features the key findings from our three-year-long research on character, culture, and leadership across finance, law, and technology firms in the UK. At a time when the UK economy is facing a slowdown and many business leaders are under stress, the findings from our research shed light on new ways to cultivate and sustain good leadership, even amid uncertainty and challenges.

Our researchers engaged over 1,100 industry professionals working in 36 firms around the UK and asked them about good leadership. Specifically, we sought to understand three questions:

1. How do employees in UK firms understand good leadership?

2. Do ideas of good leadership vary between gender, age, education, or leadership level?

3. Do different sectors have different leadership prototypes?

Rather than focusing on a single theory or style of leadership, we sought to identify the shared idea or prototype of good leadership held by industry professionals and business leaders. This perspective is vital since perceptions of good leadership drive interpretation, expectations, and performance in organisations.

Explore the research
OCP 5227 min

Our findings reveal that:

  1. When asked about good leadership, participants identified 84 features, reflecting three dimensions of good leadership: Character, professional competence, and interpersonal skills.

  2. Character is central to good leadership: 52% of features relate to character, 35% to interpersonal skills, and 13% to professional competence.

  3. Kindness, creativity, and humility are widely considered important for good leadership but were rated by participants among the five least central features.

Download the report to check out many other insights and thought-provoking lessons on character and leadership. We will take a deep dive into sector-specific findings in the coming months, starting with launching the “Character in UK Finance” report on 23 October 2023.

The research was made possible through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation. We are grateful to our industry partners and advisory board for their valuable contributions.

Download the report