Intriguing Trends in Leadership

Over the past year we’ve worked with several leadership teams as they’ve faced leadership tribulations and transitions. Two consistent frustrations we’ve observed are the lack of consistent execution and insufficient leadership bench strength. Meaning that teams aren’t delivering as expected and there is not enough talent to achieve current and future goals.
Each organization is unique, but there are some common gaps. Frequent organizational gaps include cultivating a compelling culture that attracts and retains the right people, leadership development that makes the most of each person’s potential, and empowerment that is consistently practiced.
The culture gap is widely commented on in today’s business press. In the Katzenbach Center’s 2018 Global Culture Survey 80% of the 2,000 respondents said they believed that their organization’s culture must change significantly in order for their company to meet its goals. Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about culture versus climate and how to effectuate true culture change.
Consider the empowerment gap. It’s a word that many leaders use and few effectively put into action. Check out our blog post, How to Empower – 5 Key Considerations for more complete insights on improving in this area.
Here are some things we found intriguing in the Global Leadership Forecast 2018* which correlate to the observations we’ve made in our work:

  1. “Purposeful” companies outperform the market by 42% financially. There has been a lot written about the power of purpose. What’s important to understand is that having a purpose statement doesn’t help you outperform. Purpose defines why something exists. All businesses need to make more money than they spend, but purpose creates the uniqueness and it gets expressed through culture. The culture or expected behaviors is what underscores the purpose and creates performance. This performance principle is true of people, teams and organizations.  Are you clear on your purpose AND culture?
  2. Developing “Next Gen” leaders and failure to attract/retain top talent were the top two challenges for CEO’s.  How interesting that these two challenges were more significant than cyber-security, a recession or other big global issues. We agree that development of managers and leaders is a need in most organizations. From the basics of communication, change and delegation to the translation of strategy into action, these are skills that need to be developed and classes and coaches play a critical role. We see the attraction and retention of talent connected to culture. The environment and expected behaviors of an organization can attract or repel talent. What is your culture doing?

What leadership challenges are you facing and what action will you take to address them?
* The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 centers on 25 findings about the state, context, and future of leadership. This is a worldwide study of over 25,000 business leaders through a collaborative effort of Development Dimensions International (DDI), The Conference Board and EY.

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