The issue of leadership represents the most pressing challenge for global organizations.  According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Survey, the vast majority of human resources and business leaders (86%) identified leadership as a significant problem and 50% saw this leadership deficit as immediately pressing. 

Recently, I moderated a National Association of Corporate Directors web seminar for 224 participants. In response to a polling question, “Are you confident that your company has the right talent in place to execute strategy?” only 24% responded “very confident,” leaving 76% as “somewhat confident,” “unsure” or “not confident.” Further highlighting the issue, a new Gallup study of over 7,000 U.S. workers indicates that half of those polled reported leaving a job due to their boss. Shockingly, only 35% of managers felt engaged in their work and 14% actually “tune out.” If managers are feeling this way, you can imagine the impact on their direct reports. 

What is leading to such dismal statistics? This paucity of leadership has myriad causes and some clear remedies. Problems include: The failure to integrate leadership development into the culture of the organization; insufficient and inconsistent investment in people; only allowing select employees to benefit from education and development programs; inadequate succession planning, especially for leaders in the middle to lower levels of the organization; programs focused on theory rather than practical examples; inadequate accountability and insufficient measurement of results.

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Stuart Levine


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