What sort of leadership do direct reports expect of their direct managers?
To answer this question, we studied the data of 21,843 direct reports gathered from our Leadership Assessment. Direct reports were asked to evaluate their direct managers (based on a 7-point Likert scale) and were also asked which leadership qualities they expected from their direct managers. Graph 1 below shows the result.
First, if we take a look at the direct reports' evaluation of their direct managers' leadership (line graph), "Accountability (self-initiative)" comes to the top with 5.8 point out of 7, whereas "Directional clarity" at the bottom with 5.1 point.
Now, let us look at the direct reports' expectation of their direct managers (bar graph). We can see that 55% of the respondents selected "change resilience", indicating that more than half of the direct reports expect this quality from their managers.
We also noticed interesting patterns looking at the two variables on the graph.
Taking a deeper look at what is going on here, let's first start with Group A. The direct reports gave an average score of 5.5 points for "change resilience". 55% of the direct reports chose this as the leadership quality they expect from their direct manager - in fact, this had the highest percentage (*) among the eight leadership qualities. This means that direct reports have a high expectation towards it whether the direct managers are doing it or not.
Next, let's look at Group B. The direct reports evaluated their direct managers with a lower than average score on "development of others" and "directional clarity" (see the line graph). We can also see that about 50% of the direct reports chose these two as the leadership qualities they expect from their direct managers (see the bar graph) (*). Looking at these two factors, we can say that "development of others" and "directional clarity" are two of the leadership qualities in which direct managers are not doing enough and at the same time, direct reports also expect them to do more of.
Lastly, let's look at Group C. The direct reports evaluated their direct managers with a higher than average score on "accountability", "self-discipline" and "delivering on tasks". We can also see that only 16-21% of the direct reports chose these as the leadership qualities they expect from their direct managers. We can say that the direct reports are fairly satisfied with their direct managers in these aspects (*).
Based on the analysis introduced here, we could conclude;
- "Change resilience": direct reports have high expectations whether the direct managers are doing it or not
- "Development of others" and "Directional clarity": direct managers did not demonstrate enough of these qualities and direct reports also expected them to do more.
- "Accountability", "Self-discipline" and "Delivering on tasks": direct managers demonstrated these qualities and direct reports were satisfied.
This may be a reflection of the direct reports' desire for change in a fast-paced market environment and that they have expectations of their leaders to create that change. We hope that this study helped you in looking at some indicators for leadership and how executive and managers can meet the expectations of the members of the organization.
* For the purpose of this study, we have evaluated the score "high" or "low" based on the average score 5.5 of 8 leadership category.
- No. of Samples：
- 21,843 direct reports (working with 2,003 managers)
- Survey period：
- September 2012 - February 2018
- Web-based survey
Leadership Assessment (LA) ("Leadership" and "Workplace Climate" categories)
・Direct reports' evaluation of their direct manager's leadership （8 categories, 53 questions, 7-point scoring scale)
・Direct reports' expectations of their direct manager's leadership（selected 3 out of the 8 items)