One Size Fits None: An Appeal for Better Leaders
According to Deloitte University Press, 86% of companies have identified developing new leaders as an “urgent” need. And upon closer inspection, it’s clear to see why.
Incompetency as a Norm
When it comes to managers’ performance, alarmingly, the norm seems to be incompetence. In a recent study, Gallup found that companies fail to choose suitable candidates for management roles a staggering 82% of the time. Now to be fair, there are not many qualified potential people to choose from in the first place.
In another report, Gallup revealed that only 1 in 10 people possess requisite management talents, such as the ability to build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency. And of those who do end up becoming managers, their talent is seldom nurtured.
A survey by Career Builders found that a whopping 58% of managers receive little-to-no management training. Alas, most bosses aren’t necessarily good at making the people around them better. And how this plays out in workplaces across the planet is disheartening.
For instance, a Harvard Business Review study uncovered that 58% of people trust strangers more than their bosses. So arguably, they are more willing to let their children get into an Uber driven by a complete stranger than they are to let them work with their boss. In light of these findings, it’s no surprise that most employees—upwards of 80% according to some of the most comprehensive studies—are disengaged, looking for other jobs, and ditching traditional employment to pursue entrepreneurship.
Who is your Leadership Inspiration?
As it happens, the modern workplace is overrun by bosses who aren’t qualified to lead. Reflect on your career for a moment by thinking about the best boss you worked for, as well as the worst boss you worked for. Once you’ve visualized them, ask yourself: whose leadership style do you strive to emulate?
If you picked the best boss you worked for, then you have an innate understanding of the complex problem at hand, as well as its embarrassingly simple solution.
On one side, it’s heartening to see organizations worldwide upgrade from simple Corporate Social Responsibility commitments to more holistic and comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance commitments, as well as aspire to B-Corp status.
Glimpses of a positive-sum thriving future are visible through the cracks of the prevailing zero-sum failing system. A full year before we plunged into the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, made this urgent appeal to his contemporaries at the 2019 Business Roundtable Forum:
“The purpose of business now transcends shareholders. We need a reinvented system focused on employees, customers, communities, and the planet.”