Which countries have the most promising crops of leaders coming up through the ranks today, and where in the world are there more young people likely to develop into business leaders tomorrow? And how can leadership be measured at all? SHL, a U.K.-based talent management consulting firm, released a study in 2012 that aims to provide answers to those questions.
SHL is a giant in the world of employee assessments, with more than 10,000 clients in over 100 countries. It offers services to consultancies like Deloitte and KPMG, multinationals like Unilever and organizations like the United Nations and the European Personnel Selection Office.
|Ranking||Effective Leaders Today||Potential
Leaders of Tomorrow
between leaders for today and leaders for tomorrow
|3||United Kingdom||10%||Egypt||44%||New entry|
|10||New Zealand ∞||8%||Netherlands||40%||New entry|
|12||Taiwan ∞||7%||United Arab Emirates||39%||9↑|
|15||Finland ∞||7%||Portugal||37%||New entry|
|16||Belgium ∞||7%||Russia||37%||New entry|
|20||South Africa ∞||6%||China (Hong Kong)||37%||19↓|
|21||United Arab Emirates||6%||United Kingdom||37%||18↓|
|25||Norway||5%||China (Mainland)||34%||New entry|
This year, executives at SHL decided to mine data from past employee assessments and try to shed some light on the leadership potential in the many countries where it works. The SHL data came from 1.05 million client surveys gathered between 2006 and 2011. It focused on eight different skill areas to measure leadership capability: initiating activity and deciding, supporting and cooperating, interacting with and presenting to others, analyzing and interpreting data, creating and conceptualizing ideas, organizing and executing plans, adapting and coping with others, and finally, performing and achieving.
In September 2012, SHL published a list of the countries it believes have the greatest percentage of effective leaders, and those that it sees as most likely to develop leaders within the next three to five years. The list of current leaders may not be that surprising. The report ranks the country with the most leaders today as Hong Kong (treated as a separate country, though it is a special administrative region of mainland China), followed by Germany, the U.K., Australia, U.S.A., Canada and Switzerland.
The country that emerges as that with the most future leaders is… Mexico. According to SHL, Mexico’s “market is becoming more international and its leaders are strengthening in several different categories.”
This is an interesting analysis, but only time will tell whether or not it holds much validity!