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Cloudy with a Chance of Failing

By Jazmine Boatman, Ph.D.

Boatman Jazmine, Ph.D.

The Lake Wobegon Effect = All the children in this town are above average.

Illusory superiority = 93% of drivers consider themselves above average.

Most of us have a cognitive bias for overestimating our positive qualities and underestimating their negative ones. But when it comes to frontline leadership, there is no Lake Wobe-going-on here. DDI has conducted numerous studies of frontline leaders, higher-level leaders, and HR executives alike, and the consensus is clear - Frontline leaders are failing us.

The #1 reason cited for frontline leader failure is a lack of interpersonal skills. That’s the basics, folks: effective communication, listening, empathizing and working with others. And unfortunately, the way to a brighter future doesn’t provide much solace:  81% of the 300 HR executives surveyed in our most recent study reported that the quality of their leadership development programs (the primary solution to closing this crucial skill gap) isn’t building the skills these leaders need. And the impact it’s having is severe: More than half of HR executives indicated poor frontline leadership resulted in turnover, a loss of productivity, and a loss of team member engagement. One in four also indicated their business suffered a loss in profitability due to poor frontline leadership. 

Bottom line: The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging we have one. We have done that, but let the record state, we are not powerless. Learn more about how to build Better Than Average frontline leaders.

Cloudy with a Chance of Failing

Jazmine Boatman is a senior consultant and former manager of DDI’s Center for Applied Behavioral Research.

Posted: 11 Oct, 2013,
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