Organizations rise and fall on leadership.
And I strongly believe everyone has the potential to become an inspiring and impactful leader.
Fortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to effective leadership. Mother Teresa and Theodore Roosevelt couldn’t be more different, but when it came to inspiring a movement, they knew how to rely on and use their own unique leadership skills.
What does that mean for you?
It means you have a special and important part to play in leading your organization to greater levels of success.
I’ve gathered some of the most relevant leadership statistics from recent years to help you fill gaps in your existing leadership skills, explore new leadership tactics and expand your knowledge to boost your own leadership potential.
- The organizations with the strongest leadership teams emphasize coaching, communication, engagement and character and skill development on all levels.
- By providing leadership development training company-wide, organizations will see positive results in employee performance, morale, capacity and retention.
- The rise of hybrid and remote work has contributed to the perceived effectiveness of leadership in the workplace.
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The Current State of Leadership
33% of HR representatives believe there will be a significant increase in the need to develop internal talent.
47% of companies believe there will be a shortage of leadership or executive-level skills in the future.
While 78% of business leaders report taking the time to actively engage with their employees, less than half of employees believe their organization’s leadership is “high quality.”
Only 40% of leaders rate their organization’s leadership quality as “very good” or “excellent” — down eight percentage points since the pandemic.
Biggest Leadership Challenges
Developing and retaining future leaders outranks economic and business concerns.
72% of leaders report feeling burned out by the end of the day — an increase from 60% in 2020.
Only 15% of leaders feel prepared to address and prevent employee burnout.
Managers account for at least 70% of discrepancies in employee engagement scores across all business levels.
Only 46% of employees trust their manager to do what’s right, and that number drops to 32% for senior leaders.
63% of leadership professionals believe remote and hybrid work has had a high to very high impact on leadership effectiveness.
Remote workers are 22% more likely to trust senior leaders compared to in-office employees.
Hybrid leaders are more likely to be dissatisfied with their role compared to remote or in-person leaders — yet 58% of leaders worldwide are now in a hybrid role.
36% of companies are 100% remote, 28% are hybrid and 36% are in-office.
Only 27% of leaders believe they are very effective at leading hybrid or virtual teams.
Only 63% of C-suite-level employees report finding meaning or purpose in their role, and the number continues to drop for senior-level (55%), mid-level (47%) and entry-level workers (41%).
Leadership Training and Development Statistics
Despite the apparent lack of organizational leadership, investments in leadership development are only slightly down since 2019 — leadership training and development is a $366 billion global industry, with an estimated $166 billion spent in the U.S. alone.
Nearly 95% of learning organizations either plan to increase or maintain their current investment in leadership development.
Organizations that embrace leadership training on all levels were 4.2 times more likely to outperform those that restrict leadership training to management.
Less than 5% of companies have implemented leadership training across all employment levels, despite the statistics showing the positive correlation between company-wide training and performance.
Participants who underwent leadership training improved their learning capacity by 25% and their performance by 20%.
High-performing companies are more likely to provide leadership programs emphasizing character development, while low-performing companies are more likely to offer no character development at all.
74% of organizations use instructor-led leadership training, and 63% use executive coaching.
Employees who underwent identity-based leadership development training reported significant increases in self-concept clarity, sense of purpose in life and personal growth about two to three weeks after the programs ended.
Out of 24 learning methods, action learning assignments, job rotations, 360-degree feedback tools and social media networks saw the biggest discrepancies between high- and low-performing companies when asked to rate effectiveness.
Companies are 3.4 times more likely to be rated a best place to work if they employ people-forward talent practices, implement a standardized leadership model across the organization, focus on promoting leaders internally and offer high-quality development opportunities across all levels.
Only 23% of employees want more coaching from their manager — considering coaching is one of the least preferred methods of learning.
Leadership Impact on Company Culture
People who felt the organization supported them were more likely to trust their company’s C-suite leaders.
Employees are less likely to intend to quit, more likely to believe information from their leader and more likely to commit to company decisions when they trust their leaders.
Trust in leaders has been linked to higher job satisfaction and higher commitment to an organization.
Leaders tend to be trusted more when they provide structure and are considerate to each employee.
69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being better recognized.
Companies earn an average of 147% higher earnings per share when their number of talented managers increases and the rate of engaged employees doubles.
Leaders are 1.5 times less likely to feel they have to switch companies to advance when they receive quality coaching from their managers.
Essential Leadership Skills Statistics
Companies prioritize four essential leadership skills:
- Coaching skills: 34%
- Communication: 31%
- Employee engagement: 27%
- Strategic planning: 21%
Organizations ranked coaching, communications skills, team leadership, emotional intelligence skills and strategy development and alignment as their top five priority leadership skills in 2022.
All organizations, regardless of performance level, ranked integrity and ethics as the most important leadership character element.
29% of employees wish organizations acted with more empathy.
Leaders who regularly display vulnerability are 5.3 times more likely to build trust with their employees, and leaders who acknowledge their shortcomings are 7.5 times more likely to maintain trust.
Remote employees who received regular constructive feedback from their manager had 2.5 times higher engagement rates than employees who did not.
80% of millennials would rather receive on-the-spot feedback and recognition over formal reviews.
Managers showed 8.9% greater profitability when they received feedback on their strengths.
Leaders are 9 times more likely to be engaged in their role and 2.4 times more likely to stay at their company for the next year when they feel a strong sense of purpose.
87% of leaders who engage in conversations about their career path find more meaning and purpose in their role.
85% of HR professionals believe coaching skills will be essential for leaders to develop in the next three years.
The State of Diversity in Leadership
The United States workforce is increasingly becoming more diverse — people of color make up 36% of the workforce, women make up 47% and gay and transgender individuals make up 6.28%.
Diversity and inclusion ranked #6 in top priority leadership skills in 2022.
Organizations that are considered gender equity leaders report 19% higher revenue growth.
Women make up only 12% of C-suite and executive board roles.
Companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies with less.
Only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are people of color, and only 3.6% are female.
People of color own 22.1% of all U.S. businesses.
Companies with high-performing leadership benches have 22% more women leaders and 36% greater background diversity than companies with low-performing benches.
Only 18% of employees say leaders in their company represent diverse demographic backgrounds, and only 21% say their organization recruits and promotes from diverse candidate pools.
How Will You Lead?
These leadership statistics prove we’re in an evolutionary era of work — one in which digital engagement, collaboration and development at all levels are at the forefront of leadership strategies.
After reading where the organizations before you have thrived and failed, reflect on your own approach to leadership. Ask yourself:
- How will I tailor my leadership skills to better fit the needs of my organization?
- How will I align my values with my company role?
The answers will be different for all of us, but the application is the same. When you can acknowledge your own strengths, pitfalls and purpose — and learn to wield them accordingly, you’re one step closer to becoming a great leader.
To better leaders,