A number of recent articles (Cappelli et al. 2010; Ladkin and Weber 2011; Useem 2010) have explored the characteristics of a successful leader. The three articles all examine the leadership issues and challenges regarding what characterises attribute to be a successful leader. While the study by Ladkin and Weber focuses on leadership issues specific to the tourism industry, the article by Cappelli et al. focuses on leadership lessons from India companies. However, the reflection by Useem apply military leadership to business. A major concern of all three articles is that leaders require a variety of leadership skills. This review will compare these articles in relation to three specific skills: decision-making, communication and adaptive leadership.
All the authors concur that an essential characteristic for leadership is decision-making. Cappelli et al. point out that India leaders tend to own the strategy function, setting the agenda and taking a visible role in strategy development (p.92). Similarly, according to Useem, leaders have to make ‘good and timely call’ (p.3), which is a focus of responsibility in a leadership position. Useem recommends that a leader should make fast and effective decisions after consulting staff, and should not expect perfection (p.3). Ladkin and Weber state that the leader has to be very resilient in decision-making and has to make the decision in a confident manner, which is similar to the finding of Useem. However, Ladkin and Weber focus on being determined, whereas Useem focuses on more input