Understanding what makes an effective business is high on many managers’ wish lists. There are countless guides and expert advice on what companies need to succeed, and the latest theory is that a good business is centred round its leaders.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) explained that the nation is under pressure to remain both competitive and productive, which is why no company can afford to become complacent. This is certainly the case for the resources sector, which has been the backbone of the Australian economy for so long.

In fact, IBISWorld estimates that the mining industry alone experienced growth of 4.7 per cent per year between 2010 and 2015. It employs almost 194,000 people across the nation, so its competitiveness could not be more crucial.

What must leaders do to meet expectations?

The Ai Group’s report titled Addressing Enterprise Leadership in Australia emphasised the need for businesses to take a holistic approach to their operations. Simply adopting a short term outlook is unlikely to equip businesses for the difficulties that might arise in the medium and long term.

For example, mining companies may need to think about acquiring new sites well ahead of the competition. They can then determine what industrial measuring instruments they are likely to need if and when the project goes ahead, therefore minimising any time delays further down the line.

The Ai Group also urges leaders to think more carefully about the cultural impacts of their growth strategies. Decisions need to be made not only in line with organisational goals, but also those of the wider economy.

What problems are leaders facing?

One of the challenges that leaders might be facing is image, as identified by research carried out by Swinburne University. Figures showed that 75 per cent of people believe business leaders are somewhat or very concerned with their self-interest, rather than putting the needs of the company first.

There is also the issue of a lack of investment in leaders. Bosses simply aren’t being given the opportunities they need to develop, and the same goes for junior members of staff in mining companies who might want to move up the career ladder.

As the Ai Group points out, collaborative leadership capabilities are important for the greater benefit of a company. If business goals are going to be met, then this is something that needs to be addressed both internally and on a national level.