Research by The Ken Blanchard Companies(R) Reveals Critical Skills and Common Mistakes of Leaders, Key Traits That Make or Break Those at the Top

SAN DIEGO--()--April 25, 2006--Strong leadership is undeniably the backbone of an organization, yet good leadership can be elusive. In studies conducted from 2003 through 2006, The Ken Blanchard Companies(R) collected input from more than 2,000 respondents who cited developing leadership bench strength as their number one issue. In order to better understand and define the most critical components of effective leadership, Blanchard(R) launched a tailored study where more than 1,400 leaders, managers, and executives shared their views on their most-needed skills and their biggest mistakes.

The top three considerations include good communication skills, effective people management, and a sense of empathy and emotional intelligence.

-- 43% identified communications skills as the most critical skill set, while 41% said that inappropriate use of communication or listening is the number one mistake leaders make

-- 27% cited under or over supervising, giving directions, or delegation as a problem when working with others

-- 15% said that empathy and emotional intelligence are critical to leadership success.

When asked to identify the five things that leaders most often fail to do when working with others, high percentages of the respondents targeted the same handful of issues. Here are the most common mistakes of leaders:

-- failing to provide appropriate feedback, praise or redirection: 82%

-- failing to listen to or involve others: 81%

-- failing to use a leadership style that is appropriate to the person, task and situation, leading to over- or under-supervision: 76%

-- failing to set clear goals and objectives: 76%

-- failing to train and develop their people: 59%

The study indicates that one of the greatest challenges organizations face today is developing leaders to their full potential. Skilled leaders create the vision, support the strategies and serve as the catalysts for developing individuals and moving their organizations forward. With changing demographics predicting an exodus of the baby boomers who are currently in leadership positions but soon headed for retirement, developing leadership bench strength takes on a new significance for today's leaders as well as those who will follow.

Research on Performance and Leadership Points to a new P&L

The Service-Profit Chain, Value-Profit Chain, and Employee/ Customer Profit Chain have been well established by independent researchers, but the connection between profits and leadership has been a missing link. In a year-long study examine this missing link, The Ken Blanchard Companies identified connections between leadership capacity and organizational vitality -- research that allowed Scott Blanchard and Drea Zigarmi to examine what it has dubbed the Leadership-Profit Chain.

Additional details regarding both new research studies are available courtesy of The Ken Blanchard Companies(R) -- a global leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership effectiveness that helps people excel as self-leaders and as leaders of others. Many Blanchard(R) programs for teams, customer loyalty, change management, and leadership effectiveness blend the use of assessments with instructor-led and online learning. Using best practices based on the company's continual research, Blanchard's world-class trainers and coaches support people in making the shift from learning to doing and drive sustainability into all levels of organizations.

To learn more, visit


The Ken Blanchard Companies(R)
Wendy Wong, 760-489-5005


The Ken Blanchard Companies(R)
Wendy Wong, 760-489-5005