Why Leadership is Difficult & Why Leaders are Failing

Why Leadership is Difficult & Why Leaders are Failing

Roles of Leadership

  • In spite of technology, communication is regressing
  • Diseconomies of scale place extraordinary burdens on the organization and front-line managers
  • Leaders are not present (locked behind a door and captive to email)
  • Little or no investments in training and development, cannot afford it, don’t support it, don’t know what to do.
  • No handbook (like parenting) (in spite of all the effort, there is still no certification or accreditation in management or leadership)
  • Few useful feedback mechanisms (at best, although some progress is being made at Google and GE, among others)
  • Insufficient numbers of bona fide and qualified role models
  • Little or no supervision and mentoring
  • A weakened HR function; need power like a Chief Quality Officer…break the glass and pull the handle
  • Weak boards focusing on the wrong things
  • No transparency. So many examples but one notable one:

“The Talent Strategy Group surveyed 200 companies
in 2014 and found that 73% of companies have
decided that lying to their employees about their
potential to advance is the right choice.” Leadership
BS by Jeff Pfeffer, page 123

  • Positional authority that destroys the notion of


Going Forward, What Will We Need?

  • Audacious and tenacious leadership. What do we work for? IMPACT
  • Boldness
  • Coalition building: matrixed organizations and
  • Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)
  • Customer intimacy and centricity: products and
    services; accepted and relevant messages or they will
    get it somewhere else
  • Our economy is based on connections: need
    coordination, trust, and permission…connections are
    an asset
  • What impact will automation have on your

Get Back to Basics:

  • Leaders light the fire within, not the fire beneath
  • Everything is in a constant state of change, businesses have to change
    and leaders have to change!
  • Power and authority will increasingly be given to the employees
    (and/or teams), not the managers
  • New management skills will be needed as tasks are becoming
    exceedingly complex
  • How do you manage the autonomous souls (cell phones) into
    collaborative souls?
  • Transparency (Google and EPIC)
  • Stand Up…Speak Up…Stand Out…Walk Around…Be Visible…Be
    Present…Disconnect and Re-connect
  • Train, Mentor, Teach, Coach, Advise
  • Do What is Right