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A new leadership analysis by two US university professors and a UK-based doctor of psychology, highlights the difference in critical thinking skills between Obama and McCain.

Professor Usha Satish, Professor Siegfried Streufert and Dr Tony Cockerill have looked at ‘how’ the two candidates think rather than ‘what’ they think, in their analysis. This predicts that Obama will be able to perform to a higher level at times of high 'VUCAD' (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and delayed feedback) than McCain.

Dr Tony Cockerill, founder of the Centre for High Performance Development, outlines the main results of the analysis: “Overall, both candidates, while different in their respective approaches, showed competencies in dealing with complex task settings. They differed in their level of integrative strategy - with Obama scoring highly in that domain - and in their responses to challenges and crises – with McCain demonstrating rapid reactions to events and Obama generating thoughtful action at an appropriate rate. In relation to our VUCAD environment our analysis shows that Obama fairs better than McCain even in the most extreme conditions, whereas McCain is capable of operating well at levels of low to medium VUCAD. What the US voters need to decide is whether the current environment for a US president is high VUCAD or low VUCAD.”

Click here to read the full analysis.


Notes to editors:

The Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD) specialises in the assessment and development of leaders to inspire and sustain personal and business success. It has more than 30 years of research conducted with business and academic partners, such as London Business School and Princeton University, which has resulted in its own, proven method for assessing leaders at all levels – from first time manager to global CEO. CHPD’s leadership model has been used by more than 100 organisations around the world and its database of more than 12,000 leadership profiles is recognised as one of the foremost benchmarking tools available today.

CHPD is owned by Capital H Group a rapidly growing human capital consulting group, with offices in major cities in the United States and over 200 professionals specializing in talent, leadership and organizational effectiveness. Capital H Group focuses on helping companies create value – through people – for better business results.

About the authors:

Usha Satish Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University and a visiting professor at Stanford School of Medicine.

Her work is centered on the application of simulation technology to assess ‘how’ people think in solving problems that confront them. She directs the Simulation Laboratory at SUNY Upstate Medical University which focuses extensively on developing simulation based learning tools for leadership development in executives, physicians, military personnel among other areas. She is regarded as an international expert in complexity theory and leadership development. She has several original publications in peer reviewed journals and contributed to several books in this field. She has numerous grants from federal and other organisations for her research.

Siegfried Streufert Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Penn State University and a professor at Upstate Medical University. He has held professorships in the United States and in Europe. He is one of the developers of complexity theory and of simulations that measure functioning in complex, uncertain, ambiguous, and volatile task settings. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Tony Cockerill is recognised as one of the leading experts in leadership, team and organisational development. Whilst at the London Business School he led major international research into the characteristics that distinguish leaders, teams and organisations which perform to outstanding levels in dynamic and competitive environments.

Working with his research partners in the US and drawing upon primary research into leadership competency and development Tony founded the Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD) in 1995. CHPD was established to apply the research, which Tony had led, to organisations across the world.

Alongside his continued work and research at CHPD, Tony is now president of Capital H Group, a US-based HR consultancy which acquired CHPD in 2007.

For further CHPD press information please contact:
Louise Raisbeck in the CHPD press office: 01295 678582 / mob: 07966 688063.
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