Our nation values leadership, but we do not teach it well.
Colleges place a strong emphasis on leadership, as any high school senior who is filling out applications can tell you. We watch movies and read books about leaders. It borders on a national obsession.
Yet employers see a gaping deficit. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (p21.org) interviewed thousands of the world’s most respected employers and asked two questions: 1) what are the skills critical to success in the modern workplace and 2) what skills do new hires lack. Of the roughly 100 skills surveyed, “leadership” ranked in the top 10. It also showed the second greatest skill deficit in recent college graduates (second only to “written communication”). Roughly 28% of graduates are described as “deficient” with only a small fraction deemed highly skilled.
If we value and respect leadership so much and it correlates with success in the workplace, why then do we see such a gaping deficit?