5 Reasons Organisations are Struggling with Leadership

By Peter James
Career Life Transitions 

Everywhere we turn we hear organisations lamenting about leadership, it one of the most research, written about, webinar’ d and spoken about subject in the business world globally.  The role of the Manager is very clear, and we have course on this subject from high school to University, but the subject of leadership is very nebulous. 

Many have tried to create the ‘to do’ list of prescriptive leadership must do’s, we are constantly presented with examples of leadership from Martin Luther King to Julius Caesar or we are sent to seminars which talk about the characteristics which vary so much from leader to leader as to become non-sensical making it impossible to apply those characteristics to ourselves.

Let’s face it, leadership may have broad characteristics, but the delivery is as unique as each one of us is, what works for one doesn’t always work for the other, not only that, a change in context can create a change in results.  Organisations, however, play a part in the Leadership gap.  These are the 5 things organisations used to do, but don’t have the time, budget or resources to do now: 

  • Taken the time to actually define what leadership looks like in ‘this organisation’ nor are we prepared to hold people to account. This is more than just the Vision statement on the wall.
  • Doing more with less, means a flatter structure and more hands-on delivery responsibility for all levels of management, leaving little time to develop relationships which is what it takes to transition from management to leadership.
  • We inherently focus on outcomes and delivery (financial results), leadership becomes a ‘nice to have’ when the pressure to deliver is on.
  • Hire for technical skills and don’t take the time and effort to develop soft skills until it’s too late, we promote them and wonder why they don’t achieve
  • Our organisations are so big and political, the individual gets swallowed up in the bigger machine, leadership is difficult without building relationship.

For more information about the content of this article please contact Peter James from Career Life Transitions at peter.james@careerlife.net.au

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