This loss of leadership has created a fear that now drives the decision making of 90% of hiring managers and recruiters.
They are oblivious to both the fear and its origins, but this makes the fear no less real. I will explain...
First, what are the signs of a true leader?
- Patience with difficult people
- A clear plan for the future, including the small steps we need to take to get there
- A desire to develop people
- Willingness to take a risk based on potential
- An ability to bring out the best in people (their true potential)
- The ability to make people feel valued for their unique contributions
Next, what happens when there is the absence of a true leader?
- Very little or poor communication
- No patience for problems
- No investments made towards developing people's potential
- No clear vision, or, more commonly, a future vision but without the steps telling people how to get there
- Hiring based almost entirely on experience rather than potential or personality
- Mediocre results due to the lack of inspiration
I assume these lists describe something familiar for most of you.
An article was posted on LinkedIn today which ties our lists above nicely into our premise about fear:
When organizations lack true leaders, people who value potential and know how to bring it out of their employees, they become totally dependent on hiring "perfect" candidates.
Since there is no ability to drastically improve the employee as a whole, hiring now happens on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get standard.
Hiring managers and recruiters are no longer instructed to look for good character employees with highly adaptive skill sets, they are given a laundry list of bullet points based on an applicants past work experience.
The risk, and accompanying fear, of hiring an employee that will need mentoring, encouragement, and direction, is simply too great for companies without true leaders to take on.
So what are the future negative implications of hiring practices such as these?
- A workforce without diversity (of education, background, experience) is prone to stagnant thinking
- A workforce that doesn't value developing potential is prone to mediocrity
- A workforce that puts no value on potential is prone to employee disengagement
- Employee disengagement happens when no true leader exists to drive results, develop potential, and thank employees for the unique value they bring to the group
- High turnover is a by-product of leaderless organizations
The epidemic of missing leaders spills over into other areas as well:
- Coaches for our youth sports teams who use anger as a motivator
- Teachers who could care less about student success
- Parents focused more on controlling the immediate behavior than long-term character building
- Pastors who have no time for one-on-one mentoring/counseling relationships
- People who have no patience for the mistakes of others and forget that empathy was ever important
These are serious issues that all stem from the same root problem.
We no longer place value on true leaders who posses the ability to take a crude block of clay and mold it into something spectacular...We would rather just pay a high price to buy the finished product from someone else.