Knowledge Library

Why Leaders Fail

Customer Value Foundation

In a recent article (Why leadership-development programs fail: A contrarian view), I wrote that $14 billion was spent on leadership development, and only 7% of such programs were effective. Mckinsey published an article on what really matters to make good leaders.

This was based on a survey of 81 large companies. They found that the top 4 traits of a leader were:

  1. Solving problems effectively
  2. Operating with a strong results orientation
  3. Seeking different perspectives
  4. Supporting others
Other answers included:
  • Give praise, Champion desired change, Motivate and bring out best in others
  • Make Quality Decisions, Clarify objectives, rewards, and consequences, Develop others
  • Communicate prolifically and enthusiastically, Develop and share a collective mission,
  • Facilitate group collaboration, Keep group organized, Foster mutual respect and on task quality decisions
  • Remain composed and confident in uncertainty, Recover positively from failures, Differentiate among followers
  • Offer a critical perspective, Role model organizational values
Hardly exciting. A list that could have been made by MBA’s.

Basically employee and team related. Not one of these focuses on the Customer. Instead of the Customer focus, we have making profits and organization development, problem solving. No wonder Leaders fail. They fail because this is not enough in a highly competitive world.

And what about mind-set, and thought processes? Not on the list!

No wonder, companies and CEO’s are lasting for shorter times, and leaders are failing in this era of the Customer, fast product introduction, shorter product life cycles, social media etc.

What would your top three or four traits be?

Mine would be:
  • A mind-set of Value Creation that goes beyond just looking at the obvious, such as processes, systems and what we did in the past
  • Customer focused and add Customer Value
  • Employee focus and Employee Value
  • Have Values and be a Values role model (ethical, moral, fair), Have corporate consciousness (sustainability, ecology, societal)
All this will help you create shareholder value
Your comments are welcome!

Gautam Mahajan, President - Customer Value Foundation

M: +91 9810060368

Tel: 11-26831226, Fax: 11-26929055



Customer Value Foundation (CVF) helps companies to Create Value and profit by Creating Value for the Customers, employee and for each person working with the companies.

Total Customer Value Management (Total CVM) transforms the entire company to focus on Creating Value for the Customer by aligning each person's role in Creating Customer Value and getting shareholder wealth and Value.

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