Home/ Insights/ Whitepaper

Bad Decisions:
Why Companies Miss the Most Important Factor in Executive Hiring

Astonishingly, the skill of making effective, timely decisions is often overlooked in leadership candidates. As companies search for new hands on the tiller to navigate uncertain waters, it is becoming clear that it is essential.

For many senior executives, feeling empowered to make good decisions is a crucial aspect of their remit. This skill feeds into many other areas of responsibility, such as good management practices, communication, strategy and more.

Despite its centrality, new research from Kingsley Gate reveals that decision making is the ‘missing piece’ in hiring strategy for leadership positions.

A quarter of senior executives say they were not asked about their decision making capabilities at interview stage and only around a third (36%) say that their decision making style aligns with that of their organization. There is also evidence to suggest that, even when asked about decision making, senior executives are not pressed to elaborate on their approaches to the process and thinking behind their decisions.

This report reveals the many benefits of ensuring that decision making is an integral factor in the leadership hiring process; how to empower senior executives to make good decisions; and how to accommodate contrasting decision making styles.

Your ability to make decisions and the process you use should fit synchronously with your environment. You could have two entities, one an individual, one an organization, which have both been very successful with their process and decision [making] styles. But, if they serve as a horrible fit for each other and incentives aren’t aligned, you’re setting both entities up for failure
Umesh Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, Kingsley Gate
Our Research
Purpose Image
The objective of the research is to explore several dimensions of organizational decision making, including the relationships between decision making and executive leadership, talent strategy, and employee satisfaction.
Purpose Image
The Survey
Kingsley Gate commissioned a survey that was conducted by FT Longitude in May and June 2023.
Purpose Image
The Respondents Profile
We spoke to senior executives at C-suite, C-1 and C-2 levels. They came from 13 industries and 5 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
The Experts
To find out more about how decision making affects leadership, we interviewed three experts in the field:
Purpose Image
David Livermore
Founder, Cultural Intelligence Center, Research fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Research Professor at Questrom School of Business, Boston University
Purpose Image
Jude Reser
Vice Present, HR Atrium Hospitality
Purpose Image
Umesh Ramakrishnan
Chief Executive Officer Kingsley Gate
Questions Answered
Purpose Image
Mutual benefit
How does good decision making help both company and individual?
Purpose Image
Different styles
How do beliefs, values, and culture drive decision making?
Purpose Image
True empowerment
What helps and hinders good decision making?
Purpose Image
Working in harmony
How do best in class leaders align individual and company decision making?
Purpose Image
Finding the missing piece
Why is decision making effectiveness a crucial aspect of assessing leadership candidates?