HR Execs Describe Best Corporate Head

June 25, 2002 ( - In the US, at least, a good leader has a good character, a top-notch performance record, is flexible and adaptable and has high ethical standards, HR professionals say.

The 2002 Global Leadership Survey by the Society for Human Resources Management revealed that 67% of respondents found such leaders through management recommendation, 65% use performance management, and about half said senior managers tapped their own replacements.

To best prepare them for the challenge, 57% said they brought in outside executive trainers from universities, executive education, or professional groups. Some 51% use in-house trainers while 48% give candidates temporary assignments to help them gain new skills.

Some 47% send people overseas to give them a diverse background, according to the SHRM document.

A management candidate’s geographic background also comes into place. According to the survey:

  • 44% of senior managers are from the local country,
  • 28% are from the country of the firm’s headquarters,
  • 6% are from a third country, and
  • 22% represent a mix of the local, headquarters, and third countries

The survey comprised interviews with 426 HR professionals.

The SHRM®/SHRM Global Forum 2002 Global Leadership Survey is available
online for free to SHRM members.