Are We Void of Great Leaders?


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“What is happening to leadership? We need people to step into the gap and lead. Are we just void of great leaders?”

Yes, you’re right. I wish I could put lipstick on this pig for you, but we are void of good leaders. Man, look around. Look in politics. Are there no good leaders? No, that’s not true. I coach a lot of really great leaders. I get to meet really great leaders all the time, but are there decisions being made and are there people in leadership positions, public leadership, private leadership, not-for-profit leadership who are just terrible? Yes. I don’t really wish it wasn’t that way because that’s job security for me, man, it’s all about me. Just kidding.

What’s happening with leadership is this. I believe leaders who are not doing a good job have lost their way because they are disengaged from purpose and their core values. Some are not disengaged from their core values, their core values are just terrible. If we have a clear and compelling set of core values and we have a driving element that helps us be purpose-driven, then we’re going to be better leaders, assuming our purpose is ethical and moral and for the greater good.

What’s happening to leaders, in my opinion, is that they’re overwhelmed with the torque and stress and difficulty that they face every day, and they’ve lost their connection to their values and their purpose. All the minutia and difficulty and trauma of the day gets in their way, and they allow the fog of the present stressor to dilute their focus on purpose on appropriate core values. I know in my own life, when I’m not focused on authenticity and excellence and compassion and growth, my four primary core values, man, I can get in a funk. I can be nasty. I can get angry, but I always know when I’m not helping leaders perform better and live better lives, which is my purpose, that I can get very discouraged very quickly. I think that’s what’s happening. I think people have allowed the convenience and the political ramifications and their own pressures in their life to get in the way.

If you’re a leader or you’re listening to this and you’re a leader, my encouragement to you is get clear about your purpose. Clear the fog and the debris out of the way and get realigned with what matters, and get true to your core values and evaluate those to make sure that you’re living the life you want to live in the space you want to live it. I talked to a leader the other day that opted out of leadership, decided to sell their business, I don’t know if they’ve sold it yet, and decided to do something very different with their life. More power to them. They were out of alignment, and the environment they were in did not allow them to execute on those. I hope that’s helpful.

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