Leadership Dilemma!

I’ve just finished teaching a recent course in “Leading Change,” during which there were some amazing revelations as a result of listening to my students, all of whom are in the marketplace today in various positions.

It’s becoming more and more apparent as I travel around the country speaking, facilitating seminars, and interacting with the workforce, that there is a major disconnect between the executive leadership in this country and their subordinates and employees. Not only is the disconnect of a fundamental management nature; it’s of an intellectual nature, as well.

From a management perspective, the abundance of organizational restructuring that has taken place since the country’s financial collapse in November of 2008, has revealed a lack of critical thinking, planning, and communication in terms of leading organizations through a significant change or transformation. From an intellectual perspective, it’s clear that there are fewer leaders at the top of the organizational pyramid that understand the importance of creating a vision that supports a mission and set of core values, if they even happen to exist. In other words, there is not a clear understanding of the critical nature and importance of corporate culture; not just to the workforce, but to performance, as well.

This supports a feeling I’ve had for some time that organizations in crisis either shift from a values-based leadership culture to one that focuses more on processes than people; or if the leadership culture is more centralized and non-flexible, it simply becomes more so.

Truth Be Told, this saddens me tremendously because the two most important assets an organization have are neglected and suffer the loss of support; the employee and the customer.


Written by Maxie Carpenter

Maxie Carpenter was formerly Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Wal-Mart Stores. After a 27-year career, he began to pursue a number of other interests, which included alternative education, nonprofits, consulting, writing and public speaking.
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