Is There Really a Lack of Leadership?

There have been a lot of articles that talk about the lack of leadership.  It is probably true to some extent, but I sincerely hope that the numbers are lower than the high percentages that are called out in the research.  If that is true, then there is a long way to go to turn the ship around.  There are definitely competencies that help you measure leadership, but that can differ by manager or company viewpoints.  Leadership has so many differences including how it is defined, ways of measuring it and the expectations of it, which may be different depending on the culture and organization that you work in.  Observing those who are successful leaders will often give you clues as to what is needed to be seen as a success in your organization.  This is what makes it tough to do comparisons.  It isn’t just a one size fits all model.  Maybe it is important to take a step back and look at how leaders are designated.

They are people who have started at the bottom of the ladder and done well at being “doers” so they get promoted.   They show that they have the capability to get things done.  The assumption is that the same capability will translate into managing people.  That may work out if those people can adapt, but in many cases it is a struggle. They need to work on themselves to make this shift happen.  The skill sets are different and it is not a direct translation from a doer role to a leader role.  Think of managing people as using a completely different part of your brain.  It takes time to train your brain to think in a new way and to think of yourself differently.  It is not an overnight magical thing that just happens.  This type of shift requires patience by both the person going through the transition and the manager of that person.  They both need to work together to help that person develop the leadership skills that are needed for success.  It is a transition that shouldn’t be taken for granted and it is not easy.  There is work to do on yourself to be a successful leader.  It takes reflection, mentoring, coaching and being self-aware to improve.  It can absolutely happen if it is a good fit for you and you are motivated to change.

However, some people may decide that being a leader is not what they want to do after they try it.  You tried it and it didn’t work out in the way that you hoped.  That is okay.  Not everyone is cut out to be a leader. Unfortunately, many people don’t admit this and stay in the role.  Is that part of the problem?  They are miserable and they make their teams miserable.  Be honest with yourself and recognize that you have other strengths that make you successful.   Leverage those strengths and take the opportunity to try other things until you find out what makes you happy.

We need people in leadership roles who have a passion for it and want to be there to develop others.  If you are a leader or you want to be one, then focus on doing all you can to be a great leader.  There are so many resources and people who want to help you find success.   If you need help, all you have to do is ask!

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