The Looming Leadership Shortage
By Frank Myeroff
Executives all the way up to CEOs and CIOs are expressing concerns about the looming leadership shortage in the US and around the globe. Because this shortage will hinder business growth, companies are in hot pursuit of professionals who demonstrate leadership potential at a greater rate. They are also willing to invest more resources in leadership programs. In fact, a survey conducted by The Conference Board and Right Management (talent, career, and management experts) indicates that businesses plan to spend 37 percent more on leadership programs this year than they did in 2013.
We’ve identified 10 principles of successful leaders:
- Vision. A leader has the ability to share a dream and direction that inspires others to follow.
- Trust. Without trust, vision can’t happen. A leader must walk the talk in order for people to give up what they know and venture into the unknown.
- Participation. A true leader can unleash the potential in others and get the best from them as they work to accomplish company initiatives.
- Learning. Leaders have a thirst for continuous training. Applying this knowledge creates real customer value.
- Respect. True leaders respect and have a deep appreciation for people’s differences, and as a result, are able to cultivate more committed employees.
- Innovation. Creativity and innovation are essential elements to building a successful company. Leaders need to express original ideas and ingenuity to motivate and inspire others to follow suit.
- Honesty. The hallmark of a good leader is integrity, honesty, and morality. We need leaders who have a deep sense of purpose and are true to their core values.
- Community. Today’s leaders need to be measured over and above the success of the company. They need to do for others and show involvement in their community.
- Courage. An effective leader must have the courage to see difficult situations through to the end and accept responsibility for the outcome of decisions.
- Selflessness. Leaders should be servants who facilitate the success of others. They spark action in others by seeing the value of others. In return, others start to think more highly of themselves and their abilities.
Today’s leadership training programs extend well beyond traditional classroom instructor-led activities. More resources are being allocated to a full spectrum of leadership learning initiatives.
- Coaching. Often senior managers will serve as coaches to develop the capabilities of high-potential performers and help them achieve explicit workplace objectives and goals. Coaches have a vested interest in improving specific skills and interpersonal relationships that pertain to specific jobs because it impacts the company’s bottom line.
- Action learning initiatives such as business challenges and simulations. Action initiatives enable trainees to jump right into the real world of upper management. Most business simulations are used for business acumen training and development. Learning objectives include strategic thinking, financial analysis, market analysis, operations, teamwork, and leadership.
- Critical thinking and cognitive ability assessments. Administering these types of assessments will measure the learning capacity as well as the problem solving and decision making ability of an individual.
The bottom line is that the demand for quality leadership in the US and around the world is expected to far outpace the supply. Organization should identify potential leaders and implement new and effective leadership training programs in order to stay competitive and improve performance of both people and the company.
Frank Myeroff is president of Direct Consulting Associates of Cleveland, OH.