Why we don’t get the leaders we say we want

The state of workplaces, not just in the U.S. but all over the world, can only be described as dire.


Whether you prefer Gallup’s data on employee engagement or the surveys on engagement or job satisfaction emanating from the various human resource consulting firms and the Conference Board, the picture that emerges is consistent: mostly disengaged, dissatisfied, disaffected employees. Moreover, there is no evidence that things are getting better over time.

Although trust in leaders is seemingly important for organizational success, if you consult the Edelman Trust Index or the aforementioned surveys, once again the data are clear: a remarkably low level of trust in leaders in many sectors and many countries.

Probably because of this reality, there are a billion (alright, maybe it only seems like that many) blogs, TED Talks, books, seminars, and workshops filled with the many “shoulds” of leadership: leaders should be modest, honest and truthful, authentic, take care of others, build trust, be vulnerable, let others participate in important decisions, share information, and the list goes on… and on.

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The original idea behind ChangeThis came from Seth Godin, and it was built in 2004 by him and a merry band of interns. In the summer of 2005, ChangeThis was turned over to 800-CEO-READ, and they have been keeping the project up and running ever since. To learn more about 800-CEO-READ, visit their website.

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