We spend an estimated $24 billion a year on leadership development but leadership experts from
Harvard to Stanford question whether this extraordinary expenditure is producing better leaders.
Even with our naked eye, without the lens of a doctoral research initiative,
we can see that great leadership is in short supply.
From the legislative gridlock in the federal government to the increasing number of corporate executives testifying before Congress about the conduct of their companies, we see evidence that we need more not less leadership.
In short, our current approach to leadership development is not working.
Barbara Kellerman has identified several possible reasons for why leadership training is not producing expected results. One of those reasons is that leadership training is rolled out simultaneously to groups of leaders at a time. As if the needs of each leader were the same; as if the challenges faced by each leader were the same; as if the solutions for each leader were the same.
And, of course, they are not.
To get something we’ve never gotten, we must do something we’ve never done. In leadership training, that something we’ve never done is to help people develop their own model of leadership, a model of leadership that flows out of their own identity.
I will say more about this in upcoming blogs.