Global Leadership Forecast 2021

DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast (GLF) is the most expansive leadership research project of its kind. We first began this stream of research more than 20 years ago to help companies hire, promote, and develop leaders who could meet their future business challenges. In the Global Leadership Forecast 2021, we worked with HR analyst Josh Bersin to publish an unprecedented report series, representing a new era of leadership, precariously positioned to meet ongoing crises.

The Largest Leadership Study of Its Kind

This report examines responses from 2,102 human resource professionals and 15,787 leaders, spanning 50 countries and 24 major industry sectors. Published in partnership with HR Analyst Josh Bersin, the research summarizes best talent practices and provides key trends to guide the future of leadership.

Global Leadership Forecast demographic pie

A New Era Driven by Crisis

When we launched the survey in February of 2020, we had no idea what our world would face. We were able to capture responses from both before and during a global pandemic.  What came through clearly in this year’s study is that companies are gearing up for an era of constant crisis, where if leaders want to succeed, they must also be ready to rapidly gain new skills and change. 

In the Global Leadership Forecast 2021, learn what’s keeping CEOs up at night, what companies can do to prevent burnout, how leadership will continue to change in a massively disrupted future, and more. 

Demystifying Leadership Transitions

One of the hardest (and most stressful!) things to do is step into a new leadership role. This report from the Global Leadership Forecast series examines how leaders of all levels navigate transitions into new roles. Learn the answers to key questions surrounding transitions, including the cost of stress, the impact of poor transitions on later success, the rates of executive failure, and much more.

GLF diversity and inclusion report

Executive Transition Struggles

Nearly half of all external executive hires fail, while 35% of internal executive hires are considered failures.

Stressful at All Levels

More than one-third of all leaders described their transition as very stressful, and at least 5% thought of quitting.

Less Support for Women

Men are 13% more likely to receive leadership training than women, and more men have up-to-date development plans.

The Exclusive on Diversity and Inclusion

This report from the Global Leadership Forecast series takes a deep dive into what the data told us about the current state of diversity and inclusion. It answers key questions, including: How do leaders feel about D&I at their companies? Are there financial impacts? What’s the risk of ignoring it? How can we do better?

GLF diversity and inclusion report

A Major Retention Risk

Minority executives are more than twice as likely to say they plan to leave in the next year.

Diversity Pays Off

Companies with above-average diversity in leadership are 8X more likely to be in the top 10% for financial performance.

Global State of D&I

Globally, leaders from minority racial/ethnic backgrounds occupy just 22% of all leadership positions.

5 Key Insights from the Pandemic

How did the global health crisis impact leadership? In this infographic, learn five key trends shaping the future of leadership development efforts.

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