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Monday, August 20, 2012

End of Leadership: Post #10-- Leadership Mantra

The Leadership Mantra. Everyone has jumped into the leadership business—Academia (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton); companies (GE, Southwest Airlines, 3M, Proctor and Gamble, Accenture); even nonprofits like the Center for Creative Leadership. All have pitched their collective tents in the leadership campground. Nonetheless, we’ve seen failure after failure in our leaders, in government, industry and nonprofits. Witness the economic meltdown (failure of banks and financial institutions); the dysfunction of a polarized and intractable, ineffective Congress and Senate; and the devaluation of the presidency since Nixon. There’s a singular focus on producing good leaders but nothing about stopping bad ones. And for all the money spent on developing leaders (GE boasts of spending over $1 billion a year), we still see ineffectiveness. The “graduates” of GE leadership like Bob Nardelli at Home Depot, Jim McNerney at Boeing and even Jeff Immelt (Welch’s GE successor), according to Alan Murray (Wall Street Journal), have not fared well. In short, if leadership development is so good, why has it not done better?

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