The Leadership Industry – a Lament

We in the leadership industry are responsible – at least in part.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for the miserable mess that is American politics.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for the diminution and degradation of American political culture.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for the fact that not since the advent of political polling have our leaders been as disliked, disrespected, and distrusted as they are now.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for sending the message that leaders can be novices – completely inexperienced, altogether inexpert, and wholly untested. As was Donald Trump when he was elected president of the United States.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for sending the wrong message. For sending the message that learning to lead is simple – that it can be accomplished as quickly as easily.   

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for not sending the right message – that learning to lead is hard. That learning to lead involves each of these three: leadership education, leadership training, and leadership development.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for not getting our act together: for not cooperating and collaborating, among ourselves, to agree on a core curriculum, to set minimal standards, and first to aspire to and then to achieve professionalism.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for failing to develop a widely accepted and deeply respected analogue to the Hippocratic oath.

We in the leadership industry are responsible at least in part for the fact that America’s followers – the American people – have never been taught that good leadership absent good followership is not only improbable but impossible.   

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