Staggering Leadership Statistics

I can’t find any statistics on this but I’d be willing to bet a few paychecks that the most used word in businesses across the world is leadership. Every organization talks about their leadership. The need for more leadership. The need for better leadership. Their investment in leadership training. And on and on it goes. 

But for 95% of organizations in the US it appears to be merely lip service. 83% of companies say it’s important to develop leaders at all levels of their organization. But only 5% of companies have implemented leadership training across all levels. 

69% of Millennials are concerned that their companies do not help them develop their leadership skills. 59% of those Millennials say they are looking for opportunities at companies that will. 

Only 11% of HR leaders feel their organization has a strong “bench” that can take over leadership roles as they open up. 

60% of people currently in leadership positions say they feel beat up and worn out at the end of the day. 44% of those say they plan to explore opportunities at other companies to advance their careers. 26% of those say they will leave their current companies in the next 6-12 months. For many of the people in these leadership positions that beat-up feeling comes from a lack of formal leadership training. They don’t realize that they are managing people people instead of leading them.

55% of CEOs say that developing the next generation of leaders for their organization is a top priority. That’s what the say but that’s not what they show. When a leader’s words do not match their actions their credibility quickly goes south. That creates an entire host of additional problems. 

Every survey and every bit of research in 2021 leads to the same conclusion. There is a vast shortage of Authentic Leadership in business (and government for that matter) today and the shortages are only going to get worse. 

The majority of people elevated to leadership positions have less than 10 hours of formal leadership training during their entire careers. Some studies say that’s true for over 80% of people in leadership positions. 

If you’re running any type of organization and you hope for it to survive in the future you must stop paying lip service to this issue. You need to begin developing the future leaders of your organization. It is also vital that you understand the distinct differences between management training and actual leadership training. 

You may think that you’re investing plenty in leadership development. But are you really? You can invest a bundle in management training. That however will do little to nothing to develop your leadership team. Management training pertains to running a organization. Leadership training pertains to growing the people within the organization. Leadership training and management training are not the same.

The difference is not mere semantics as some would have you believe. You manage things, you lead people. When you attempt to manage people they feel as if they are being treated like a thing, not a person. They do not feel appreciated. 

79% of people who have left a job in the last year stated that not feeling appreciated was their number one reason for leaving. 

Companies that actually invest in training to develop Authentic Leaders do not lose people. They experience very little turnover. They grow their people AND their business. 

Still think you’re doing a great job developing your future leaders? 

2 thoughts on “Staggering Leadership Statistics

  1. Do you have any suggestions on HOW to develop a leadership training program? We are a young organization that has recently realized we need to be giving leadership development a lot more attention and we would love to be pointed in the right direction.


    Nate Moses 864.729.0116


    1. Hi Nate, that’s a big question. The answer, at least a complete answer would be too big to answer here but you’ve given me a great idea for several more posts. But here’s a couple of quick thoughts, especially for a young organization. A leadership development program really begins BEFORE you hire a potential leader. HR professionals are concerned with a lack of leadership candidates but THEY hired the people they don’t see as leadership candidates. Don’t do that! Hire only people who you see as potential leaders. I know that’s easier said than done these days but try not to settle for people who can only fill the role you’re hiring for today. If they are not likely to be promoted tomorrow then don’t hire them today.

      The other thought is one many consultants won’t agree with. You can’t “teach” leadership. Leadership can only be experienced. So once you have a good candidate hired start letting them experience leadership immediately. That means you need a mentoring program. Use today’s leaders to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Let them see leadership in action. Allow them some space to make decisions on their own. Allow them a few mistakes, not expensive mistakes but mistakes that they can figure out how to solve on their own. Yes, mistakes may cost some money but mistakes that your future leaders learn from are not an expense, they are an investment and when guided by an experienced leader a much better investment than most classroom leadership training.

      But classroom leadership training is certainly a part of a leadership development program. Those classes should focus on people skills, understanding how people are motivated and most of all, communication skills.

      Hope that helps a little. I’ll expand more in future posts.

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