Why are Great Managers So Rare?

Why are great managers so rare and is this really true?

I have attached a link to an article published by the Gallup Organization because it has some startling statistics and also a rather pessimistic outlook on leadership.

The first startling contention is that organizations hire the wrong person to lead 82% of the time costing businesses billions of dollars per year in lost productivity.

As a coach, I do see a lot of poor leadership and leadership behaviours but is that because the wrong people are chosen to lead, or is it that the people chosen have not invested in their personal development in this area?  There is no doubt in my mind that some people have more raw talent in the area of leadership than others.  This is true for athletic talent, artistica talent and I would guess pretty much any other talent as well.  Still, if a "hiring committee" were to pick an individual out of a group to be an Olympic Athlete, what would the next steps in that process look like?  Would they be left to figure things out for themselves?  Fend for themselves?  Train themselves?  Of course not.  Athletes at the Olympic level get trainers, sports psychologists, physiotherapists, proper tools and equipment, coaches and so on.  And, they get the time to develop their athletic talent over a number of years.

Is this also true for leadership talent?  Not that I can see.  In fact, I think most people are selected for front line leadership positions (arguably using a questionable process) and then left to their own devices.  Sink or swim.  If they demonstrate fear based behaviours or their performance isn't up to snuff, they may be sent off to charm school or asked to do an MBA.

I think it is time that leadership be seen as the productivity engine that it truly is and as a result, be worthy of some investment, just as is done for hockey players, opera singers and other areas of talent.

Please read the article.  What do you think?

Why Great Managers are so Rare by Randall Beck and Jim Harter of Gallup


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