So, there's a Leadership Shortfall fast approaching in the next few years.
Effective leadership frequently tops surveys as the most important qualifier of employee engagement, and therefore a company's health... And yet, equally, Leadership skills are consistently reported as the hardest skill to find in employees. 71% of companies do not feel that their leaders are able to lead their organisation into the future.
Part of the problem? An inability to implement leadership development at all levels of the organisation.
Don't just train senior leaders
Traditional Leadership Development is time-consuming. And it is expensive. Companies can't afford that much money and lost hours, so they have to prioritise.
When they can only afford to put their eggs into one basket, organisations will continue to develop those who they have already invested time and money in, on the flawed assumption that as they are 'higher' up the ranks, developing them will somehow have a better return on investment.
Even though the 'lower' leaders that aren't being trained are dealing with the frontline, dealing with customers, making the day-to-day decisions, and ultimately shaping the company's reputation and success through their actions.
And that's the fault of the Leadership Development industry for forcing this choice
Most employees promoted to first-time leadership positions are promoted because of skills that worked in their previous roles. Leadership, they have to learn.
When neither managers nor leaders are perceived as effective, only 8% of employees are highly engaged.
When leaders (but not managers) are perceived as effective, 35% of employees are highly engaged
When both leaders and managers are perceived as effective, 72% of employees are highly engaged. - Global Workforce Study
Leadership Development needs to be accessible to everybody
We built and ran a LD community of practise for 1500 leaders.
From all levels of a global organisation spanning 100 countries.
That means it's been possible to affordably develop Leaders at all levels for over a decade. In that regard, it looks like the industry still has some catching up to do.