A lot of literature is available on different aspects of leadership, some postulated as theories and others as lessons. As much of able and effective leadership can help people to scale the mountains, absence of leadership can take the team to the valley.
In the corporate world, lack of leadership in today’s world can be a huge challenge.
1. Lack of proper vision
Vision is a leadership trait and managers can execute the vision. Vision here is not about making lofty statements and putting them up the wall but the capacity to for see and implement transformational change, that may consume the organization, industry or the world. Here the leadership is not about the position or designation but the vision of the person.
You are leader because you are visionary, one does not become leader after occupying the senior management position. Leadership is about focusing on a good mix of culture, strategy and leadership rather than on operational efficiency.
2. Gap between strategy and execution
Poor leadership also leads to a huge gap between strategy and execution. The vision of the leadership team does not get translated into action and does not percolate to the next level. There are differences and infight between departments/ functions resulting in unco-ordinated execution. In absence of leadership, opportunists build their fiefdoms and wield unnecessary power on the employees.
Organizations are about problems and finding solutions to the problems to go to the next level. A leader who abstains from taking the ownership for solving the team or business or organization problem can never lead. Sometimes the solutions may have to be audacious and courage’s, ones which the world would laugh but one should have the conviction to implement.
4. Retaining talent
Retaining talent is the biggest challenge where there are leadership issues. Anecdotally, these are those people who join the organization and leave their bosses. Which is interpreted very narrowly points out to the leadership skills of the boss. People want to grow, would like to be nurtured, prodded and pushed to next level. This cannot be done without supportive mentorship by an able leader who understands people individually and collectively.
Talented employees resist any kind of micro-management. Overall culture and environment is spoilt, where employees are generally demoralized, disengaged and demotivated. While there is flight of talent, poor leadership propagates mediocre performance. Such leaders hire and retain people who look like them.
5. Improper investment effects financial performance
Most tangible and visible impact is on the financial performance of the organization. Investment alone does not produce growth; this needs synergy in sales, operational efficiency and strategy. The entire organization functions like a divided house, headless chickens running in different direction. Money, effort and energy all gets wasted in correcting mistakes.