WHEN WE ASK PEOPLE in organizations—executives, first-line supervisors, head teachers, hospital nurses—which set of competences they would most like to develop, all provide the same answer: help us to become more effective leaders. They have seen that leadership makes a big difference to their lives and the performance of their organizations.
Equally, when we ask CEOs what is the biggest problem they face, they unerringly reply: our organizations need more leaders at every level.
So, given the hunger for leadership, why are leaders in such short supply? We think there are two fundamental reasons:
First, organizations desire leaders but structure themselves in ways that kill leadership. Far too many of our organizations—in ...