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Effective Leadership: An Exploration of the Statistics

Effective leadership. Every company wants it, every company looks for it, tries to train for it, and tries to hire for it. So why do 71% of businesses feel that their leaders are not able to lead their organization into the future?

Part of the issue is a leadership skills gap. 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, and a large portion of them are leaving leadership positions. Millennials are now an even larger generation than the Baby Boomers, but Millennials often don’t have the necessary skills to step into leadership positions and be fully effective. Millennials are also considerably more “fickle” than their older counterparts. 91% of Millennials plan to stay in their current job for less than three years.

So what do companies do? They invest huge amounts of money in leadership development. Classes, seminars, workshops, lectures. All told, 83% of organizations say that it is important to develop leaders at all levels.

However, only 5% of companies have fully implemented leadership development at every level, and a quarter of businesses say that less than 10% of their critical leadership positions have ready and willing successors. Indeed, 84% of businesses expect to encounter a leadership shortfall within the next five years.

With so much emphasis on leadership development, at least at the upper levels, why are companies still falling short?

One significant factor may be lack of customization. You bring in a speaker or offer a seminar to discuss leadership generally, and your people end up hearing the same basic information about effective leadership over and over again. But they never get a chance to apply the information to themselves, because they are expected to self-assess and understand their own shortcomings. And most people simply aren’t any good at looking at their own abilities objectively.

This is where personal assessments come in. An assessment of your communication style, preferred working environment, and/or approach to decision-making can be incredibly eye opening. Professional assessments can help you recognize your strengths and identify your weaknesses, which we all have. Assessments then become the basis for personal action plans, which support you in turning information into real change and more effective leadership.

Only 19% of organizations claim to be very effective at developing leaders. Maybe it’s time to consider an outside perspective.

About Joy Ruhmann
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