Even the most collaborative team in the world needs leadership.
Imagine an eight-person rowing team. Each seat serves a purpose toward one goal: crossing the finish line first. The rower at the bow is concerned with balance. Those in the other seats work like an engine, some reserving their power while others use their strength to produce fast and fluid momentum.
Arguably the most important role — the cox — doesn’t even hold an oar. The cox doesn’t provide the team with muscle, but with direction and motivation. The rowers’ power goes to waste without the cox’s vision and strategy. The cox steers the team’s rhythm and pace to keep one athlete from carrying too much of the collective burden.
Why do businesses need strong leaders?
Business leaders should work the same way: by motivating their workforce and channeling its talent into a single, powerful operation. But for an overwhelming number of companies today, effective leadership is lacking. According to global HR consulting firm DDI, less than half of executives believe their organization’s leadership quality is high. When they asked HR professionals, confidence dropped to an alarming 28%.
What’s behind this leadership disparity? One reason could be a mass exit of established employees and managers. In a survey from Pew Research Center, over half of U.S. adults 55 and over said they’re retired. While millennials may slowly shift to more supervisory roles, their rise doesn’t automatically offset the ongoing Great Resignation.
How do we close the leadership gap?
Most businesses understand the need for leadership development, though few are ready to deliver. In a study from the Association for Talent Development, 83% of respondents reported significant skills gaps, while 47% predicted a gap of leadership and executive-level skills. Faith in new leaders shrinks as more tried and tested managers resign.
This change doesn’t have to be negative. New talent brings new expectations, including what they need from a leader. What pushed a manager to the top in the past may not connect with the next generation of employees. Great leaders are, above all, innovators.
How do we know a leader will adapt to the challenges of tomorrow? Let’s dig in to common reasons why some fall and others take their workforce to new heights.