We had leadership programs running constantly, but when a decision had to be made everyone stepped back and waited for someone else to make a move.
Evidence of crises of leadership fill our news feeds daily. Yet leadership development, coaching, books and seminars are a growth industry.
With all this education, why aren’t we getting better decision making from our leaders?
The opening comment was made to me by a former executive of a major bank. I have no doubt the situation is the same in most big institutions.
This is what I think is happening:
- Lack of personal direction Instead of being guided by an internal compass aligned to corporate goals, quasi-leaders’ values are conflicted.
- Lack of personal consequences Apart from a few noticeable exceptions, quasi-leaders get away with bad decisions, or no decisions, many walking away richer.
- Fear When the going gets tough, quasi-leaders look to the past instead of the future.
Instead, we should expect the following from our leaders – and be selecting, training and supporting them accordingly:
- Values – that produce decisions that serve the company and the community.
- Accountability – acceptance of the responsibilities of being a leader.
- Courage – to make the difficult choices.
What do you think? What would you change?