What Leadership Style Should Japanese Leaders Aim For? And What Are The .

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WHITE PAPERWhat leadership style should Japanese leaders aim for?And what are the appropriate steps for developingleadership style?Findings from diagnostic data on the leadership styles of more than 8,600 Japanese leaders

Executive Summary In Korn Ferry, we define six different types of leadershipstyle. We know that leaders should ideally possessseveral different styles and exhibit them as thesituation demands (page 3). Until now, however, wehave found Japanese leaders to exhibit lower levels ofthe “visionary” leadership style, but higher levels of the“participative” style when compared with data fromother countries (page 3). This time, we analyzed diagnostic data on leadershipand organizational climate involving more than 8,600Japanese leaders to date. We analyzed the number of leadership styles exhibitedby leaders and how this number relates to organizationalclimate, which has a significant impact on businessperformance. As a result, we found that effective leadersmust possess at least three leadership styles, and thata sufficiently positive organizational climate can becreated if four styles are possessed (page 5). We also analyzed the correlation between eachleadership style and organizational climate. The resultssuggest that, although the visionary style produces thehighest positive correlation, a favorable organizationalclimate can also be developed using the participativestyle (page 6). On analyzing how the six leadership styles aredeveloped, we found that development starts with thedirective or pacesetting style, continues through theparticipative and affiliative or coaching style, and endswith the visionary style (page 7). Based on this analysis, we divided the leadershipdevelopment journey into the two axes of “Perspectives”,consisting of “Self (Own interest)” and “Others (Others’interest)”, and “Interest/Scope”, consisting of “Individual(1 on 1)” and “Group (1 on many)”. We then combinedthese into a framework (page 8). The visionary leadership style improves organizationalperformance but is difficult to acquire in the earlystages. As such, the most effective journey would seemto be to develop the participative style, which bettersuits Japanese aptitudes and has a positive impact onorganizational climate (page 8). We found that, if four leadership styles are possessed,the combination that produces the best organizationalclimate is “visionary style, affiliative style, participativestyle and coaching style” (page 9). Data based on the career progression of leaders suggestthat leadership development does not necessarilyprogress adequately as leaders rise to higher levels intheir organization’s hierarchy (page 10). According to global surveys and research by Korn Ferry,success in the rapidly changing, complex and opaqueworld of tomorrow will be enjoyed by co-creativeleaders, who will not only display vision but also listento the opinions and ideas of diverse participants andcollaborate with others. By developing leadership styles in steps according to theframework mentioned above, it is thought that Japaneseleaders can aim to be co-creative type leaders equippedwith both the visionary and the participative style, whowill exhibit strength in the world of tomorrow.2Frequentlysought aftervisionary leadersand leadershipstyle suited forJapanese leaders?There are various theories on the ideal image of aleader and the ideal leadership style that shouldbe exhibited; it is difficult to make a decisivepronouncement on what is correct. But there seemto be a few things that can be said in general. Forexample, on the image of the visionary leader.Visionary-style leaders who use their visionto carry others along are needed in all sorts offields, not only business. In the business world,specifically, we have Masayoshi Son of SoftBank,Tadashi Yanai of Fast Retailing, and others inJapan, late Steve Jobs of Apple and Elon Musk ofTesla Motors and SpaceX, and others overseas.They have big visions, draw people with them,move people.Why do we call it “visionary style”? This questionis also taken up in “Leadership 2030”, written in2014 by the Korn Ferry on future expectations ofleadership. The world is being utterly transformedby the advance of globalization, environmentalcrises, demographic change, the digital societyand others; and in the process, there is more andmore uncertainty in the world. Therefore, thecreed of safely and surely pursuing business – theold ideal that used to be expected of leaders – isno longer valid. What is required now is takean uncertain future and business environmentas givens and to listen to diverse opinions, thento describe the image to be targeted by ourorganization, to explain it as a vision, to involveothers and to co-create with them. So now,what is the situation in Japan concerning thedevelopment of visionary- and participative-styleleaders who facilitate co-creation?In this paper, we will seek to answer this questionby analyzing a database of diagnostic resultsaccumulated by the Korn Ferry on leadershipstyles and the organizational climates theyproduce.

Figure1 Dominant* leadership styles by %Canada20%48%45%43%34%37%Italy62%48%43%40%24%48%* Dominant Diagnosed score is above the 67th percentile in comparison with a globally accumulated database (the result is higher than 67% of leaders in thedatabase)In Korn Ferry, we define six different types ofleadership style. They are the directive style,the visionary style, the affiliative style, theparticipative style, the pacesetting style andthe coaching style. We have made a countrycomparison of the ratios of leaders who exhibiteach of these six styles, using a global leadershipdiagnosis database (2013; Fig.1). As a result, only19% of Japanese leaders were found to exhibit thevisionary style of leadership, the lowest of all tencountries compared. It would appear, then, thatattempts to nurture visionary-style leaders havenot been altogether successful. On the other hand,the participative style that encourages co-creationhad the highest ratio (59%), showing this to be acharacteristic style of Japanese leaders.Although it is beyond debate that visionary styleleaders are necessary, there is also the ideal ofthe co-creative type leader who will be requiredin the world of tomorrow. Japanese people areconsidered adept at the participative style thatfacilitates this. We would now like to providesuggestions for these two types of leader, as wellas directions for nurturing them. The Six Types of Leadership StyleDirectiveDemands “immediate compliance” from subordinates. Rather than guidance fromsuperior to subordinate, this type of leader attempts to gain obedience throughspecific instructions and orders to “do this now.”VisionaryShows subordinates “long-term directions and the vision to aim for.” Includes twoway communication between superior and subordinate, and has a unique businessoutlook.AffiliativeSeeks “harmony” among members of an organization and tries to avoid conflict. Placestop priority on building amicable relations with subordinates, and devotes a lot oftime to this.ParticipativeAims for “active participation” by subordinates. By gaining a consensus amongsubordinates, motivates them to feel personally involved.PacesettingEstablishes personal “standards” and sets high demands for work performance. Thisleader becomes the model for subordinates and others in the organization to follow.CoachingStrives for the “long-term, systematic growth” of subordinates. Leads them not by“teaching” but by getting them to “realize” their individual strengths and weaknessesin relation to their own personal targets.FREQUENTLY SOUGHT AFTER VISIONARY LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE SUITED FOR JAPANESE LEADERS?3

“Effective leadership style creates a goodorganizational climate, which in turngenerates strong performance.”“Possessing four leadership styles helps tocreate a good organizational climate.”Leadership styles andorganizational climateAn organization’s performance is influencedby a variety of factors. Of these, Korn Ferryhas conducted empirical research to verify theinfluence of leadership styles and organizationalclimate on performance, from both individual andorganizational perspectives. Effective leadershipstyle creates a good organizational climate, whichin turn generates high performance (leadershipis an explanatory factor for around 70% oforganizational climate; organizational climate isan explanatory factor for around 30% of corporateperformance).Korn Ferry uses six parameters or “dimensions”to diagnose organizational climate. They areflexibility, responsibility, standards, evaluationand rewards, clarity of direction, and teamcommitment. We diagnose each dimension usinga score of 0-100%, as a benchmark in comparisonto a globally accumulated database. A higherscore generally shows that a better organizationalclimate has been created. The six dimensions of organizational n &rewards4Is there a sense of constraint in the workplace?Has a lot of authority been delegated to you?Are your bosses committed to improving and optimizing business performance?Do you feel that your good work is recognized and rewarded? Are the results ofthat recognition reflected directly as performance standards and as differentiatingfactors?Clarity of directionDo all the employees understand what is expected of them, and how thoseexpectations relate to the larger goals and objectives of the organization?Team commitmentDo you feel proud to belong to the organization, does everyone provide extra effortwhen needed, and is there trust that everyone is working toward a common objective?LEADERSHIP STYLES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE

Number of leadership styles andorganizational climateFig. 2 shows the relationship between the numberof leadership styles exhibited by leaders and thetotal scores for organizational climate (the totalof scores for the six dimensions). These are basedon diagnostic data for the leadership styles andorganizational climate of 8,612 Japanese leaders.Leaders generally need to deal with all sorts ofsituations and are expected to apply differentleadership styles as those situations demand. Assuch, the more effective leaders must be thosewho have more leadership styles at their disposal.Our data show, however, that it is not necessary tohave mastery of all six leadership styles.Fig. 2 shows that organizational climate scoresare more or less the same when leaders practiceone or two leadership styles, but improve whenthree or more are used. This means that effectiveleaders need to possess at least three leadershipstyles. But although the organizational climatescore goes up as the number of leadership stylesincreases, the score is more or less the same withfour as with five styles. This tells us that effectiveleadership can be exhibited and a sufficientlygood organizational climate created with just fourleadership styles.So now we know that having three or fourleadership styles seems to be sufficient. The nextquestion, then, is which of the leadership styles isit best to have?Figure2 Average organizational climate score by the number of dominant leadership style (N 8,612)352365371293Total Organizationalclimate score(aggregation of scores of6 Organizational climatecriteria)# of dominantleadership 9360173NUMBER OF LEADERSHIP STYLES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE5

Effective leadership stylesclimate, and therefore its significance forbusiness performance. However, the visionarystyle must not necessarily be the ultimate goal ofall leaders; a good organizational climate couldalso be created with the participative style. Fig.4 shows which dimension of organizationalclimate is impacted by each style. This tells usthat the participative style has a positive impacton evaluation and rewards, in particular, whileflexibility, responsibility and clarity of directionare also positively impacted.Fig. 3 shows the relationship between the sixleadership styles and organizational climate.As this reveals, the most effective style fororganizational climate is the visionary style,followed by the participative style. Therelationships of the directive and pacesettingstyles are negative, suggesting that these twostyles could, depending on the time and situation,have a negative impact on organizational climate.The reason why the visionary style is requiredis clear from its relationship to organizationalFigure3 Correlation between "Leadership styles" and "Organizational climate" (correlation 7Figure4 Correlation between "Leadership styles" and parameters of "Organizational climate" (correlation ing0.*Partial correlation coefficients between individual leadership styles and organizational climate (after statistically removing the influence of other leadership styles)6EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP STYLESClarityTeam yClarityTeam yClarityTeam yClarityTeam yClarityTeam CommitmentRewardsTeam -0.01-0.03-0.07 -0.06-0.06-0.07

The leadershipdevelopment journeyLeadership development involves a kind of“journey”. For example, aspiring to the visionaryleadership style is one thing, but it is not so easyin reality to become a visionary style leaderovernight. Figs. 5 and 6 show the number ofleadership styles exhibited by Japanese leadersand the relationship to the incidence of leadershipstyles. These reveal the order in which leadershipstyles are acquired, starting first with the directivestyle or the pacesetting style, followed next by theparticipative style and affiliative style or coachingstyle, and finally culminating in the visionarystyle. For the Japanese, in other words, thevisionary style could be seen as the most difficultstyle to acquire, while conversely, the participativestyle can be acquired relatively quickly.Figure5 Leadership styles exhibited according to the number of dominant leadership possessed (N 8,612) %12(N 2,521)3(N 2,006)4(N 1,276)5(N 1,293)90859698 veDirectiveVisionary0 3Leadershipstyle exhibited25201899 100 100 100 100 100 1007060454032(N 73)896958 636(N 601)Pacesetting# of dominantleadership stylesVisionaryCoachingFigure6 Leadership style incidence by the number of dominant leadership possessed (N 8,612) 8 100969089Pacesetting100 10085706032464425 2623455945380163582017# of dominantleadership styles99 56123456Visionary is the most difficult leadership style as it tends to appear onlyamong those who posses more than 4 leadership stylesTHE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY7

“Leadership development involves a journey, duringwhich leaders acquire highly effective styles whileexpanding their perspectives and interests.”Framework of the leadershipdevelopment journeyA framework may be a useful way of looking atthis leadership development journey. The axesof the framework are shown in Fig. 7, where“Perspectives” are divided into “Self (Owninterest)” and “Others (Other’s interest)”, and“Interests/Scope” into “Individual (1 on 1)” and“Group (1 on many)”. (These are general types;not all individuals will necessarily fit into thisframework.)The 1st stage is the stage of doing things as“oneself wants” and “for one’s own interest”;interests are mainly pursued on an individualbasis. The leadership styles for this stage aredirective and pacesetting.The 2nd stage is the stage of doing things for andwith the group, thus broadening the perspective.The leadership style for this stage is theparticipative style.The 3rd stage is the stage of doing thingsthrough the eyes of others, understanding deeplywhat others want and need to do, and helpingindividuals in the team to achieve what they wantand need to do. The leadership styles for this stageare the affiliative style and the coaching style.The 4th stage is the stage of understanding thewishes of others and thinking how to put thosewishes into practice as a group, gathering theconsensus of everyone into the energy of thegroup and thus pursuing the work. The leadershipstyle for this stage is the visionary style.To summarize the points made so far, leadershipdevelopment involves a journey, and there seemsto be a guideline whereby leaders acquire moreefficient styles while expanding their perspectivesand interests. Moreover, although the visionarystyle is highly effective, it is the most difficultstyle for Japanese leaders to acquire. Therefore, arealistic target for leadership development couldbe to set this ultimate goal as an aspiration, whileat the same time guiding the organization withthe participative style of leadership, which iseffective in the Japanese context.Figure7 Changes in “Perspective” and “Interest” along leadership style developmentOthers(Their ivePerspective1PacesettingSelf(Own interest)DirectiveIndividual(1 on 1)8FRAMEWORK OF THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT JOURNEYInterest / ScopeGroup(1 on many)

Dominant and secondarystyles of leadershipSo far, we have looked at the sequence ofacquiring styles in leadership development.Now, let’s consider some effective combinationsof styles for leadership that produces strongoutcomes.has the highest rate of incidence at 44%. A pointto note here is that the directive and pacesettingstyles, which can have a negative impact onorganizational climate, are used less and less asleadership is developed.Fig. 8 shows the most effective combinations offour leadership styles. Since there are six stylesaltogether, there are fifteen possible combinationsof four different styles. However, somecombinations are actually quite rare, with anincidence of less than 3%. As it is difficult to forma paradigm from these, there are only six realisticcombinations. Which combination is mosteffective can be imagined from the relationshipwith organizational climate: “visionary style,affiliative style, participative style, and coachingstyle” is the most effective combination. It alsoIn that case, how should the directive andpacesetting styles be used by leaders who possessthis ideal combination of four styles – not at all,just sometimes, or something else? Is there, infact, an effective way of using them? The answeris that the directive style “should basically beavoided, and only used to the minimum degreerequired when absolutely necessary”, while thepacesetting style “has no adverse impact if usedoccasionally, but should not be used too often”(Figs. 9-1 and 9-2).Figure8 Organizational climate scores based on different combinations of four leadership stylesCombinationDirectiveVisionaryAffiliative Participative Pacesetting CoachingOrganizational climatetotal scoreIncidence 111244%1%2%1%8%2%1%18%14%3%1%5%Combination with above 3% incidenceFigure9-1 Directive style usage and organizational climate scoreFigure9-2 Pacesetting style usage and organizational climate scoreExercisingDirective styleExercisingPacesetting styleOrganizational climate total score*Only when necessary(less than 33%)Sometimes(34 to 49%)412385N Organizational climate total score*491Only when necessary(less than 33%)198Sometimes(34 to 49%)398Occasionally(50 to 66%)397-27Occasionally(50 to 66%)377219Frequently(67% above)374251Frequently(67% above)N 403380231229291-17408* Among those who have dominant level of leadership style for Visionary, Affiliative, Participative, and CoachingDOMINANT AND SECONDARY STYLES OF LEADERSHIP9

Current leadershipdevelopment based on job levellevel managers, more of the latter certainly exhibitthe visionary style. Nevertheless, the visionaryand coaching styles – i.e. styles required of seniorleaders – are inadequately developed. At the sametime, the ratios of the directive and pacesettingstyles also rise, showing that these continue to beused. Seen overall, then, leadership styles do notchange with career progression, and evolutionas leaders is almost non-existent (moreover,the number of leadership styles acquired barelycreeps up from 2.0 to 2.2.)Ideally, higher levels of leadership should beexhibited as a person’s job grade or position risesthrough the organizational hierarchy. But ourdata suggest that leadership has not necessarilybeen developed to ideal levels in the case ofJapanese leaders. It may be that employees areautomatically “moved up to the next level” basedon considerations such as age, thus unrelated toleadership (Fig. 10).If we compare the styles of entry-level and senior-Figure10 Degree of leadership styles exhibited, by job grade* (%)Leadership styleA Entry-level ManagerB Mid-level ManagerChangeC Senior-level Manager(C - A)242527 3161822 6323634Participative475652 5Pacesetting494852 ching# of dominantleadership styles 2* Diagnosed score is the percentage of managers above the 67th percentile in comparison with a globally accumulated databaseInitial leadershipdevelopmentLeadership development is a long journey thatcontinues throughout a person’s career. If you areat the start of your time as a leader, the likelihoodis that you will have just one leadership style,which will be either pacesetting or directive(probability of the pacesetting style: 46%; directivestyle: 32%). And it is highly likely that yourorganizational climate (at that time) will not beparticularly great (Fig. 11).So, if your first leadership style is “pacesetting”,10CURRENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT BASED ON JOB LEVELwhich style should you develop next? Theaffiliative style and the participative style areeasy to develop, and can have a good impacton organizational climate. Alternatively, if yourfirst style is the directive style, you should trythe participative style or the coaching style next.What you should avoid, if you have either thepacesetting or the directive style, is to develop theother one of these two just because you are betterat it or you need it for your work (pacesetting directive style). The combination of these two is

Organizational climate if only the directive or pacesetting style is exhibited (%)Only “Pacesetting” leadership styleOnly “Directive” leadership tyRewardsStandardsMinimum level y1927Clarity27RewardsMinimum level (35)5143ResponsibilityFigure11Figure12 The impact of 1st and 2nd leadership styles on organizational climate1st dominant leadership style andorganizational climate scoreLeadership styleOrganizational climatetotal scoreDirective162Incidence 2nd dominant leadership style andorganizational climate score173Coaching301XXX(X%)very likely to make the organizational climateeven worse than if you have just one of them (Fig. 12).Again, because the visionary style is the ideal,this style tends to be developed before the others.However, trying to develop this as the secondleadership style is not very realistic, as thelikelihood of succeeding is only about 1%. Thiskind of leader may try hard to display vision butthe effort could be in vain, as the attempt mayultimately fail. Please remember that there areappropriate steps for developing leadership styles,and that there are affinities and combinationssuited to each style. If development is attemptedin disregard of these rules, it will be quite difficultto achieve.The goal of leadershipdevelopmentThis paper has presented general theories onleadership development, and particularly on theVisionary Affiliative Participative Pacesetting CoachingOrganizational climate scoreIncidence ratedevelopment of leadership styles. But of course,the style of leadership to be developed will dependon your business field, your occupation and yourindividual situation. Nevertheless, there is afixed sequence of leadership development andcombinations. If you develop these haphazardly, youwill just be wasting your time. Therefore, we hopeyou will regard the content of this paper as indicatorsfor effective leadership development, derived fromanalysis of Korn Ferry’s database.Leadership development is a long journey, andis perfected little by little throughout a person’scareer. But today, when developing excellentleaders is seen as an urgent task for Japan asa whole and we are also expected to pursuefulfilling careers at individual level, it is becomingever more important to develop effectiveleadership. Korn Ferry aims to keep contributingto that goal in future, as your partner in leadershipdevelopment.INITIAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT11

We are known for excellenceKorn Ferry knows more about human performance in the workplacethan any other organization.Pioneer to HRPartner to 96% ofmethodologies includingFortune's Most Admiredjob evaluation,Companiescompetencies, andassessment100,000 peopledeveloped in ourleadership programseach monthEngagement data onManagement data onAssessment data on6M professionals114 countries4.4M professionalsKorn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance.We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring theirstrategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.Korn Ferry Hay Group Co., Ltd.TEL:03-6267-3600 www.kornferry.com Korn Ferry 2018.

Effective leadership style creates a good organizational climate, which in turn generates high performance (leadership is an explanatory factor for around 70% of organizational climate; organizational climate is an explanatory factor for around 30% of corporate LEADERSHIP STYLES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE performance).

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