Corporate success stories tend to emphasize the "great men" theory of history. But now a European research project established the managerial attributes that can turn an ordinary leader into one ideal for the pursuit of business excellence. The emergence of five leadership styles as crucial drivers of business excellence points to a clear agenda for success. Setting clear strategic goals and the ability to take a long-term view of an organization's direction, combined with other leadership attributes such as creativity, teambuilding and learning, are principal keys to creating an excellent organization. Leaders seeking to achive business excellence must view the high-level attainment of these sets of leadership competencies as their paramount objective. In striving for business excellence, European leaders may encounter resistance among their employees. Crucially, European employees place a markedly lower value on the teambuilding and strategic competencies than is required for business excellence. By contrast, their "ideal" leader is heavily characterized by being a creative, inspiring, and active problem-solver.
European Quality, 1997, Vol Vol. 4, Issue No. 6, p. 36-39