During the past two decades, learning executives have persuaded U.S. corporations to double their annual spending on various forms of leadership development to $14 billion. Yet over that same period, public confidence in leadership has dropped considerably. According to a 2012 poll by The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University, 70 percent of Americans believe there is a leadership crisis that will lead to a national decline unless we find better leaders.
Many leaders, including some in the learning profession, recognize the problem. A 2011 survey by consultancy Development Dimensions International Inc. of 14,320 executives reported that 38 percent of line leaders and 25 percent of HR leaders gave their organizations high ratings for leadership and only 32 percent and 18 percent, respectively, thought their organizations had the necessary bench strength to meet future business needs.
If leadership programs do not produce the bench strength, performance and behaviors desired, one or more of six problems could be the culprit.
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