A top priority for many organizations is to look beyond traditional strategies for management development and recruitment to create a cadre of leaders capable of moving the company forward.

And no wonder. Ineffective managers are expensive, costing organizations millions of dollars each year in direct and indirect costs. Surprisingly, ineffective managers make up half of the today’s organizational management pool, according to a series of studies (see Gentry, in press; Gentry & Chappelow, 2009) .

With such high stakes, talent management and HR professionals as well as senior executives are pursuing multiple strategies for developing more effective managers and leaders.

Managers, too, may be surprised that so many of their peers are underperforming. It’s a smart move for individual managers, then, to figure out how they rank and what skills are needed to improve their chances of success.

One of those skills, perhaps unexpectedly, is empathy.

Additional Contributing Authors:

Todd J. Weber, Ph.D., is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the College of Business and Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A former intern and postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership, Todd’s research interests are in international management, leadership, and organizational behavior.

Golnaz Sadri, Ph.D., is a professor of management at California State University, Fullerton, specializing in organizational behavior. She has expertise in organization culture, cross-cultural differences in work behavior, occupational stress, communication, and motivation. She is an adjunct coach for the Center for Creative Leadership.

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