Where Have All The Good Leaders Gone?

By Michael A. Verespej There aren't enough leaders available. And of the leaders available, companies can't find enough who are qualified. To add insult to injury, very few leaders themselves have much confidence in the capabilities of leaders within their own organizations. That's the conclusion of the biennial Leadership Benchmarking survey released earlier this month by human-resource consulting firm, Development Dimensions International Inc. (DDI), Bridgeville, Pa., and Hr.com. Two-thirds of the employees surveyed said that the confidence they have in the leadership at their companies was either low or moderate. Nearly as many -- three of every five leaders -- admitted that they, too, do not have a high degree of confidence in their organization's overall leadership capability. What's more, 82% of the organizations surveyed -- compared with 74% two years ago -- said that they were having a hard time finding qualified leaders. "Many executives are like golfers who have one little hitch that ruins their swing," says Richard S. Wellins, senior vice president of global marketing, DDI. Yet despite the dearth of leaders, the survey suggests that the majority of companies have yet to take steps to correct the problem. Indeed, 77% of HR professionals surveyed said that the leadership development programs in their companies were less than high quality. One-third of the companies surveyed didn't even have a management succession plan. And 70% of those surveyed said that they have not increased the amount of time in the last two years that they spend on selecting, hiring, or replacing workers.

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