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Leadership survey: Walmart and McDonald's in, Zappos and Ikea out

Philadelphia -- A survey released Tuesday by management consultancy Hay Group, ranking the 20 best companies for in terms of leadership, said that both Walmart and McDonald’s made the sixth annual list, but incumbents Zappos and Ikea dropped out of the rankings.

According to the “Best Companies for Leadership Study and Top 20 list,” which ranks the best companies for leadership around the globe and examines how those companies develop current and future leaders, General Electric occupied the No. 1 position, followed by Procter & Gamble, Intel Corp., Siemens and Banco Santander.

According to Hay Group’s study, all of the Top 20 companies report that everyone at every level of the organization has the opportunity to develop and practice the capabilities needed to lead others, compared to less than 70% of all other companies in the study. In addition, 90% of the Top 20 companies report that people are expected to lead regardless of whether they have a formal position of authority, compared to only 59% of other companies.

“The Top 20 Best Companies for Leadership are at the forefront of a significant shift away from hierarchical organizational operating models,” said Rick Lash, director in Hay Group's Leadership and Talent Practice and co-leader of the Best Companies for Leadership Study. “Leadership in the twenty-first century is about leading at all levels; not restricting it to title. As organizations become flatter, the best leaders are learning they must check their egos at the door and become increasingly sensitive to diversity, generational and geographical issues.”

Hay Group’s study also found that the shift in organizational culture away from top-down leadership extends beyond employees at headquarters. All of the Top 20 companies encourage local leaders to participate in decisions made at headquarters, compared with 72% of all other companies. Similarly, 95% of the Top 20 companies report that ideas coming from subsidiary leaders are just as likely to be implemented as those from headquarters, compared with 76% of all other companies.

© 2014