Leader’s Brief: Your HR Team Might Think Your Leadership Competencies Suck – 3 Actions To Fix That

I have seen a theme across clients and potential clients with whom I speak.

It is the same problem regardless if they are a team of 100, 1,000 or 10,000 people.

As they have grown, their Leaders and leadership competencies have not kept pace with the organization’s growth, and they ask:

I don’t think my organization has the leaders required to be successful?

Why am I not getting an ROI on investments in leadership development?

My direct reports hit their objectives, but the whole organization is not seeing improvements?

Gartner Inc (an international HR consultancy) surveyed HR leaders worldwide, and the results are stunning. They found that:

75% of organizations do not have the right Leaders for the future


32% of HR Leaders would replace members of their Senior Leadership Team if given the opportunity


Not to me, as this is what clients tell me. One client sheepishly confessed that they believe that 60% of their supervisors and managers do not have the competencies needed to do their jobs.

What Is Going On?

Most leaders are effective at ‘traditional leadership’ competencies of problem-solving, agility, collaboration, talent management and innovation.

But they are woefully ill-prepared to lead in an enterprise setting or in the leadership environment we have as we close in on the year 2020.

  • Personal Relationships have become more complicated:
    • More Stakeholders to Consult – Most agree that the number of people they need to consult with to make a decision has increased
    • Shifting Job Requirements – 80% of leaders feel their job is more diverse and has more responsibilities than before
  • Team Dynamics Are Moe Complicated
    • Remote Teams – Over 50% of leaders have direct reports in different locations.
    • Less Time to Spend With their people – most leaders spend less than 3-hours per week with their direct reports

Read this to learn what your employees think of you

The Results:

According to Gartner:

68% of Leaders feel they do not have the control they need to lead their teams successfully

63% of Leaders understand how to contribute to the success of the whole organization

65% of Leaders do not believe they will not get recognition for contributing to the success of the whole organization

Of course, we need to focus on individual objectives, but we desperately need to work together so that the whole organization can be successful.

We need to shift from strong individual leadership to strong network leadership to:

  1. Connect Strategies – Leaders need to have performance objectives that incorporate their strategic needs beyond their business unit.

2. Prioritize Cross-Functional Coordination – Leaders need to be encouraged to seek out cross-functional partnerships.

3. Strategically Align Resources – Leaders must prioritize resources to business unit objectives that align with organizational goals.

4. View Talent as a Corporate Asset – – Leaders need to be encouraged to share opportunities to leverage their team’s expertise elsewhere in the organization.

Read how to Lead through rapid growth.

Three Changes You Can Make to Leadership Investments

  • Change 1 – Invest in Changing Leadership Skills and Mind-Sets

The current generation of leaders honed their skills by watching the most executives, seemingly, achieve great outcomes on their own.

Organizations need to invest in developing enterprise leadership skills and behaviours proven to drive organizational results.

  • Change 2 – Make it Easier to Collaborate.

Enterprise leaders know who they can get help from and who they can help.

Unfortunately, most leaders don’t have all the information they need to understand when to take or help the organization because gathering this information takes time.

Organizations must increase the transparency into leaders’ relative strengths and needs to explain better how those capabilities align with the organization’s strategic objectives.

  • Change 3 – Recognize and Reward Enterprise Leadership

Organizational contributions are hidden, go unrewarded, and often are silently punished.

Barely one-third of these leaders say their contributions to others’ work are rewarded or recognized. Often enterprise-level objectives are not specific enough to galvanize action or accurate enough to capture the ways leaders can meet these objectives.