Understanding the leadership crisis

  • The three Ds of leadership — distrust, doubt and dissent, signal the need for leaders to rethink how to exercise leadership and engage their followers.
  • Research shows only 13 per cent of employees worldwide are engaged at work.
  • Leadership involves exercising influence, whether you are in a position of power and authority or not.

Directional sign post

Recently, we have witnessed what I call the three Ds of leadership — distrust, doubt and dissent. These are the outcomes when leaders fail to respond effectively to the changing context in which they must lead, and the expectations of their stakeholders.

Distrust and lack of engagement flag the need for leaders to rethink how to exercise leadership and engage their followers. Traditional leadership approaches no longer hold water.

The briefest glance at the television news or daily newspaper paints a vivid picture of the global and local leadership crisis, with escalating trends and all-pervasive images to dismay even the most casual viewer. I would contend that data, facts and figures say far more than even a thousand words. This is the story the most credible research at the forefront of contemporary thinking tells us.

  • Only 13 per cent of employees worldwide are engaged at work (Gallup).
  • 81 per cent of CEOs rate leadership development programs as less than highly effective (PwC 2015, Annual Global CEO Survey)
  • Of 7,500 business and HR leaders in over 100 countries, 55 per cent judge the return on investment (ROI) of their current leadership development as fair to very poor, and less than 20 per cent are confident they have the leaders they need to deliver on strategic priorities (Korn Ferry, 2015 Global and Regional Real World Leadership Report)

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