Worldwide Demise Of Leadership Skills Due To COVID

Leadership skills

The worldwide demise of leadership skills due to covid-19 creates an opportunity for authentic leadership.

A new leadership survey conducted by MTD Training of 4,762 managers illustrates the demise of leadership skills around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a time when we are all looking for strong leadership from our various governments, this survey specifically looks at the leadership skills within our own organisations and benchmarked managers from 60 different countries across 96 key leadership skills.

Some of the main points included:

  • From those managers surveyed globally, Developing People received the lowest overall skill rating of 72.7%
  • The United Kingdom (74.6%) scored below the worldwide average of 75.8%
  • European managers outperformed their UK counterparts in 10 out off 11 leadership competency skills areas
  • Managers from the USA outscored Europe/UK combined in all 11 leadership competency areas
  • The Accountancy industry had the lowest scores for overall leadership capability
  • The Retail industry had the highest score in the UK
  • Worldwide, Decision Making Skills were the worst impacted due to COVID
  • Managing Performance Skills were the worst impacted within the UK


Interestingly, in the year prior to the COVID outbreak, those managers that took the leadership assessment scored higher in every area than those that took the assessment from 1st March 2020+ which is no surprise and the research gathered from this survey illustrates that there is a clear demise in leadership skills during this time across the board.

Leadership Skills comparisons

The study compared developing people skills during the pandemic against pre-pandemic. Leadership assessments of 4762 leaders taken 1st March 2020 to 31 August 2021 compared to 1st March 2019 to 29th February 2020.

Highlights – areas most effected

  1. Building relationships – 0.6%
  2. Communications skills – 0.9%
  3. Continuous improvement – 1.4%
  4. Managing performance – 1.5%
  5. Decision making – 2.4%


The UK’s Leadership Skills

In 9 out of 11 skills the UK have been hit. Leadership skills with the biggest negative impact:

  1. Managing performance – 2.8%
  2. Decision Making – 2.5%
  3. Continuous improvement – 2.0%
  4. Developing people – 1.9%


Brexit Leadership skills comparison

Europe out scored the UK in 10 to 11 of the skills with Europe scoring 1.5% higher. The UK scored 74.6% whilst Europe scored 76.1%. Brexit has rocked UK business in more ways than one. Leadership skills have been tested during the Brexit transition.

Europe versus UK

Europe scored better in all areas of leadership except Decision making.

Highlights – Europe outperforms in the following areas

  1. Managing meetings – 4.1%
  2. Managing performance – 3.4%
  3. Developing people – 3.3%
  4. Customer Focus – 2.5%

UK and Europe versus USA

The USA out performs UK and Europe by 1.9%.


  1. Leadership skills – 3%
  2. Customer focus – 2.8%
  3. Building relationships – 2.4%
  4. Decision making – 2.3%


The pandemic hit businesses hard so there is no surprise that leadership skills have taken a wobble. The two areas businesses skillfully was the changes in trade processes affected by Brexit and managing staff moving from the office in the remote positions.

Companies had to adapt to Zoom meetings and adapt their recruitment process. Competent leadership was required to make strategic decisions quickly and effectively. The USA have faired better than the UK and Europe, but the UK has under performed compared to their European counterparts.

Leadership skills are fundamental to the success of a business and these skills are really tested during difficult times. Leadership mentoring and training is worth investment.













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