Young execs come of age

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the loss of 1,100 jobs at Barclaycard - coming after several other less dramatic cutbacks - demonstrates that, after a brief hiccup, "downsizing" is back.

Though other euphemisms for reducing headcount will no doubt turn up in the months ahead, it is clear that many organisations will be ditching their "most valuable assets" in response to tougher trading conditions. The result will be a yawning gap where experienced middle managers used to be. But expecting young managers to fill it will be a mistake, says Foundation, a leading management development organisation.

Since the desire to cut costs is behind job losses, it is appealing for organisations to appoint managers who are less well paid and more energetic than their older counterparts. However, says Don Campbell, chief executive of Foundation, younger managers might have the right technical skills but they generally lack, through no fault of their own, the people and leadership skills to acquit themselves well.

"Younger employees are being appointed to managerial positions because, for example, they are IT whiz-kids. It's got nothing to do with how well equipped they are to lead people. Not only do they suffer from lack of experience when dealing with knotty people-management issues, but they have problems gaining the respect of older, often more experienced people whom they are expected to lead."

Foundation has responded by introducing the "Gateway Course" to its portfolio of leadership training programmes. The new course is designed to equip these first-time leaders with the skills and abilities to command respect, get the most from those they are managing and deal with the complex issues that they will have to confront.

The move comes as Korn/ Ferry International, the executive search consultancy, has published a guide to helping organisations identify their best new leaders. A questionnaire is contained in Executive Insights - based on an examination of the leadership issues for the 21st century conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a consultancy.

Twenty questions cover such areas as leadership ability, communication skills, building and empowering teams, motivating people and ensuring results, negotiating agreement and handling conflict. In an effort to gain insights into candidates' readiness for the positions, each heading has subsidiary questions.

In the case of leadership ability, some questions are: "What are some examples of changes that you instigated in your organisation?" and "What did you learn personally as a result of making the changes?". In the case of motivating people and ensuring results: "Having established your objectives, what motivational techniques will you use to ensure that they are met?" and "How will you measure your progress in reaching your objectives?".

CVs do not always revealwhether candidates have the right attributes for a job. Korn/ Ferry says that asking the right questions is the best way to identify the right executive.

But it warns: "Since truly important questions tend not to have simple answers, you'll need to use your judgement in interpreting and evaluating each candidate's response. However, do keep in mind the organisational context and overall circumstances that have moulded the interviewee's experience and perspective."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game