Creating People-Centric Leadership And Organizations
global workforce is engaged, while 24 percent are
This seeming lack of good leadership is not because
of a lack of effort. According to a recent report,
organizations around the globe invest approximately
$46 billion annually on leadership development
programs. That’s a lot of money for seemingly little
return. What is going wrong?
In part, the system is broken: According to research by
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University
of California, Berkeley, when many leaders start to
feel powerful, their more benevolent qualities start to
decline. Corporate leaders are three times more likely
than lower-level employees to interrupt coworkers,
multitask during meetings, raise their voices, and say
insulting things. He also found that leaders are more
likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and
unethical behavior. None of this is going to speak to
the intrinsic motivation that we all share.
While the $46 billion spent on leadership training
might improve leaders’ effectiveness—at least in a
strictly business sense of focusing on the bottom
line—something more is needed: Leadership that truly
engages employees, leadership that is truly human
and speaks to the basic human needs any employee
And it starts in the mind of the leader.
Leadership pioneer Peter Drucker said, “You cannot
manage other people unless you manage yourself
first.” If this is true, the majority of leadership
education and training programs have it backward.
Most leadership education starts with skills like
strategy, people management, and finance. But from
Drucker’s point of view, this approach starts at the end
and misses the beginning: it’s like building a house by
starting with the roof.
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