Thursday, November 09, 2020

The Obsession with Leadership

Here's an interesting note from Management Issues, titled Obsession with leadership slants training priorities
The cult of 'leadership' has hooked managers and executives to such an extent that they almost always opt for 'leadership development' when asked what kind of coaching or training they would prefer, even though they seldom know what it is they are asking for.

That's the message from a new survey on executive coaching carried out by Minnesota-based coaching firm CO2 Partners which found that six out of 10 executives believe that leadership training would be of most use to them.

In contrast, less than half (48 per cent) would look to improve their communication skills and only one in three want to boost their organizational and political abilities or even their job performance.
Running an organization demands many, many skills—most of them clearly defined and eminently teachable. In contrast, "leadership" is usually poorly defined (if it is defined at all) and seems difficult to teach and tricky to learn. That is why it is such a bonanza for consultants and trainers. Each defines it in their own way, so their "solution" is the only one that fits. And success is almost impossible to measure, so that no one knows whether any of these people are doing anything useful for their fees.

It is unlikely that we need any more vague leadership training for anyone. What there is today—and has been in the past—seems to have provided little benefit, so more of the same is very unlikely to do any better. As Henry Mintzberg, professor at McGill University in Montreal, said recently:
Does anyone want to work for a manager who lacks the qualities of leadership?...Well, how about a leader that doesn't practice management?
We need a radical change in management thinking, away from the patent nostrums and panaceas of the past, and towards helping people to slow down, start thinking for themselves, and apply their brains to business problems instead of relying on what some fashionable guru is saying this week.

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Allen Unrau said...

Carmine - I can't find anyplace to contact you via any other method, so I'm leaving a comment here. Here's a story that you may be interested in:

Allen Unrau
[email protected]

10:59 PM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Thanks, Allen. It's a fascinating article.

Keep reading, my friend.

7:49 AM  

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