Leaders by Design–the continuing salvo: DeMarco Banter

BlueprintLeaders by design is a concept I have been pondering for about 10 years now.  If I were to write a book, It would address this concept.  If we can figure out how we want to design our leaders, perhaps we can better fill leadership requirements or voids.

Terri Hartwell Easter (T.H. Easter) Consulting found four out of five respondents in a recent survey said today’s business challenges require a different sort of leadership style. However, only one in five said their organization’s leadership practices were very effective. Worse, about half said their organizations put little or no emphasis on leadership development.

The findings are interesting when combined with a Gallup poll which highlighted 50% of America’s workers are disengaged at work while another 20% are ACTIVELY disengaged (read actively hostile toward the employer); so 70% of America’s work force is operating in a miserable fog–a fog that only strong leadership can lift. (See Lost Art of Leadership: DeMarco Banter)

In this study, we found that leadership deficiencies are big and there are many of them, largely because leadership development is underfunded, outdated, and resisted. These findings suggest that organizations may need to adopt a number of cultural changes and revise human resource policies and practices to help alleviate the leadership skills shortage.”  -Elissa Tucker, human capital management  (press release)


Top deficiencies:
1) Strategic Planning
2) Change Management
3) Knowledge Sharing
4) Listening
5) Emotional Intelligence

21% said their organization’s leadership practices were effective (so 79% say they are NOT effective).

46% report their organization places little to NO priority on leadership development


Leadership is un-funded, outdated, and resisted.

Organizations are underinvesting in leadership development.

Current challenges require a different style of leadership.

Selection, development, reward practices encourage an outdated leadership style.

Leaders are resistant to changing their leadership style.

Only 8% of respondents report doing “quite a bit” of leadership development.


Does this sounds like anywhere you work?  What are WE going to do about it?

As the old axiom goes, admitting we have a problem is the first step in solving it.  If our organizations can accept the problem—given the data above—we can design leaders to lead our organizations to greater success.  Am I oversimplifying? Perhaps, but we have to start somewhere.

Simply solve for x—simple, scalable, sustainable…


(originally published:

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