The Future Leadership Crisis

Over the past few weeks, while most people devoured coverage of the implosion of Tiger Wood’s public image and the antics of those nutty White House-crashing Salahis, I obsessed about a disturbing article in the December 7 issue of Business Week, “The Coming Fight for Executive Talent.”

In the article, author Claudio Fernadez-Araoz cites a demographic survey that predicts the management candidate pool will drop by 30% in the next six years. 

Add to that the exponential growth projections for companies in Asia, and the aggressive steps those companies are taking to attract and retain top talent from the West, and we are looking at a serious shortage of qualified leaders.

So what can companies do to counteract this looming crisis?

For starters, we can focus on developing our existing talent pool, identifying leadership potential in entry and mid-level managers. 

We can dust off those old management training classes on decision-making, effective communication and conflict resolution. 

We can re-institute mentoring programs and partner with local universities to create executive development workshops.

We can revisit compensation guidelines and find ways to incent our best talent to stay.

We can rethink retirement, and take a creative approach to tapping the institutional knowledge of our most tenured workers.

Above all, we can demonstrate our commitment to these managers by helping them achieve their full potential without having to “leave the nest.”

But we better act fast.  As Fernadez-Araoz notes, “…the average corporation will be left with half the critical talent it will need by 2015.”

Hear that sound?  The clock is ticking.


About Susan Rink

Susan C. Rink is president and owner of Rink Strategic Communications, LLC ( and a partner in Triple Play Consulting.
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