The leadership crisis

After months of campaigning by prospective Conservative candidates, we now have a Prime Minister who was predicted from day one.

We also have a brand-new cabinet around Boris Johnson. His choice of leaders ready to take the country forward at this crucial time were no surprise either.  They are his known supporters and have all promised to do things the way Johnson wants.

What appears to be missing are disruptive new thinkers with fresh ideas for the future. The electorate is ready for change. Yet it’s the same players who are charged with mapping out the road ahead.

We expect future leaders to follow in the footsteps of those went before them. In the current world, this tactic is failing us.

In politics, as in business, there is a very real threat that we are facing a leadership crisis. We are not feeding our talent pipeline and preparing them for the future. We are not equipping potential leaders from an early age with the skills and tools they require.

We inhabit a world of fast change but keep being given leaders suited to yesterday’s world. It doesn’t need to be this way. We need to turn traditional leadership development on its head by starting to prepare our future leaders far sooner. Instead of pushing ‘leadership behaviours’ onto an individual, help them first discover who they are and what matters to them. We need to recognise that the future requires different skills – human skills based on relationships, communication, trust, authenticity, collaboration and creativity. More than anything there needs to be humanity in the system.

As I look at our new ruling government I see little of the above. Politics may be slow to change but the organisations who oil the wheels of this country need to act now.

By connecting forward thinking leaders with emerging talent, we can inject organisations with a new energy. By giving individuals the opportunity to develop in a way that that inspires them and makes them feel valued, we can change the future. Maybe one day politics will follow.

By Elke Edwards, Ivy House
31st July 2019

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