The Future of Leadership: Its a System and not a Person
Let’s be honest. The current state of organizational leadership is in trouble. Our current approaches to leadership are creating waste in human capital on a cosmic scale. For example, Gallup documents that over the last twenty years the total number of nonengaged workers has stagnated. Between 2008 and 2020 the total percentage of nonengaged workers has remained steady between 50% and 52%. These are the workers who do their job and go home. They contribute little to innovation. The value of their job is that it pays the mortgage. When the actively disengaged, are included, two-thirds of the US workforce either does not care, or they are “drilling holes in the back of the boat.”
This leads Jim Clifton, Chairman, and CEO of Gallup to conclude,
The American Leadership Philosophy, simply doesn’t work anymore.2017 State of the American Workplace
Why Investment in Leadership Development is Not Working?
It is estimated that the annual investment in leadership development is $50 Billion. However, there is little evidence it improves organizational leadership. In addition, only a third of first-time managers receive any training in leadership. When they do, they cannot implement what they learn.
Researchers from Harvard, Gallup, Stanford University, and McKinsey Consulting are concluding that leadership development is lacking in value. Furthermore, the general condition of organizational leadership is getting worse. Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University writes:
“It is not just that all the efforts to develop better leaders…have failed to makeLeadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
things appreciably better…. It makes things much worse.”
Millennials are the Most Critical of Leadership Development
Millennials will soon comprise 75% of the workforce. They are frequently the most critical of leadership development. In a report published by Harvard Business Publishers, the researchers state:
“…the 36-and-under set was much more likely than older leaders to identify poor content, insufficient thinking and expertise from outside sources, and a failure to prove return on investment as the biggest barriers to leadership program effectiveness.”Harvard Business Publishing
Furthermore, students often discover they cannot implement what they learn when they return to their office. Several reasons are given, including,
- Lack of a systems perspective.
- Stand-alone training fails to account for organizational values and cultures.
- Entrenched systems prohibit implementation.
Why I Wrote the Definitive Book on Leadership Systems?
For twenty-five years I have been a full-time management consultant. My clients are local government, state government, healthcare, K-12 Education, Higher Education, and non-profits. I have seen every type of leadership and management system there is. Outside one or two, every leader I have worked with was qualified to do their job. One of my standard questions for executive leadership is “what are your strategic advantages?” Almost always, they will tell me about their outstanding staff. However, when I start working with those staff I hear a different story. All too often, they universally feel undervalued, unappreciated, and their voice unheard.
A True Story of Failed Leadership System
I had just finished a project with a large State agency. At the conclusion, the Deputy Director, quietly confessed, “you know, I don’t even tell my friends where I work anymore.” When I asked why she said, “it is just too embarrassing.” She was a catalyst for me. So I began to ask a question.
How do high-impact organizations approach the practice of leadership?
This question forced me to consider organizational leadership from a different perspective – the organizational perspective. So I researched traits of high-impact organizations. This is in contrast to traits of high-impact individuals. The difference unlocked the code to sustainable performance. This code carries the organizational DNA of how to lead.
The Leadership System is the Future of Leadership
After researching high-impact organizations, I have one overriding conclusion. When we understand that organizational leadership is a system, we can generate unimaginable customer value, innovation, and transformation. I know this because I have seen it. My belief is that when you read the book, you will see it too.
Leading a revolution to reinvent the practice of leadership
To see the day when two-third of the workforce is fully engaged with their work.
My Core Value
Leadership can be a designed organizational system.
Want to take on the challenge of designing high-impact systems of leadership? Contact me. We are the only firm that has a model of leadership as an organizational system. These systems of organizational leadership are setting new standards in customer value and employee engagement.
Care to join me in this revolution? Let’s connect.