Why so many new leaders fail––and here’s something you can do about it. Today!


One of the greatest ongoing challenges facing every organization is the continual need to develop new leaders.

You want to identify and cultivate the people who can fill vacancies and guide your organization into the future.

Are you preparing your aspiring and emerging leaders for success?

From an article by Nicole Fallon writing in Business News Daily:

“According to a recent study by the Center for Creative Leadership, nearly 40 percent of new chief executives fail outright…even more of them fail to live up to expectations…”

And it’s not just in the C-Suite.

According to Gallup less than 40% of business leaders worldwide are satisfied with the results of their leadership development programs. They’re just not developing the effective leaders they want and need.

We can do a better job––if we prepare aspiring leaders before we promote them…

On December 7th we’re offering rare public access to our 8 STRATEGIES for ASPIRING LEADERS Workshop. This intensive session focuses on the most essential determining factors for leadership success including:

• Emotional intelligence

• Interpersonal and relationship skills

• Self-awareness

Participants will learn key STRATEGIES to help them develop as effective leaders. They’ll leave with specific and actual DISCIPLINES to cultivate and practice tangible leadership abilities and attributes.

Organizations typically pay $10,000 or more for this workshop. You can send up to 6 people for a suggested donation of just $1,000.

Yes––I said donation…

ALL the proceeds from this event will benefit Boots2Roots––an amazing organization that prepares soon-to-be veterans for meaningful careers and connects Maine businesses with this talented pool of experienced employees and leaders.

Suggested donation for individuals is just $250, $150 for veterans, active military and student. Alternate donation amounts are also available––we don’t want anyone to miss out.

UNUM is generously providing their beautiful meeting facility at their Portland headquarters to host the event, and they’re providing hospitality as well.

So why do so many new leaders fail––and why do so many leadership development programs fall short?

The Business Daily article cited 5 key reasons why so many leaders fail. I’ve seen similar lists from numerous publications and researchers––and this workshop addresses all of them…

Over or under-confidence… “They often feel confident that they could rise to the challenge and become that boss if they had to. When it comes time to act, though, this can be a little more difficult than expected.”

We confront those expectations and help aspiring leaders develop the productive humility needed to face the real challenges they’ll encounter in their new role.

Approaching leadership with the wrong expectations…

“It's one thing to be a team member; it's another to lead those team members. Leaders are frequently unprepared to deal with the realities of managing a group…”

Our STRATEGIES give aspiring leaders a deep understanding of what they need to address before they even think about accepting a position of authority, especially their dynamic relationships with the people they will serve.

Lack of training in the right skill set…

“It's no longer about just you: You only succeed when your people succeed, and many new leaders don't make this shift gracefully…”

Wonderfully put––and that’s where many leadership development programs fall short.

Admiral Grace Hopper said, “Management is about things. Leadership is about people. For too long we’ve gone overboard on management and forgot about leadership.”

Exactly. For too long, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and self-awareness have been assigned a lower priority in leadership training and development. The research is bombproof––these so-called “soft” skills are the most essential ingredients that make a leader effective.

The sole focus of THE SENSEI LEADER MOVEMENT and all our programs is to support and develop human-centric leaders––at all levels. This means leaders who care, leaders with the ability to attract willing followers and the skills to Inspire, Empower and Guide people to their very best.

Those are the skill sets you need to being to develop before you accept your first leadership position––and that you need to continual to cultivate throughout your career as a leader.

Ignoring the need to build relationships…

“Leading is all about relationships — growing trust, building teams and utilizing excellent interpersonal skills…leaders need to pay attention to their teams, keep learning and never assume anything.”

All the skill sets I referred to just a moment ago point to the one, over-arching role and responsibility of a leader: to build relationships.

In fact, we define leadership as the most important human relationship. People who understand this dynamic before they accept a leadership role have the best chance of success.

Failure to listen…

“Leaders tend think they have or need to act like they have all the answers…”

Well, not leaders involved in THE SENSEI LEADER MOVEMENT.

The best leaders don’t know all the answers––they accept the reality that they simply can’t know all the answers.

The best leaders are people who know how to formulate the right questions––and have the courage to ask them.

We start this process early and it’s a key topic in the 8 STRATEGIES for ASPIRING LEADERS program.

Fallon wrapped up her article with four “categories of skills that leaders must master to succeed” from Lead Like it Matters by Roxi Hewertson:

  • Personal (self-awareness)

  • Interpersonal (communication skills)

  • Team (harnessing group dynamics)

  • Culture/systems (organizational assessment)

She quotes, “Of these four "core tenets" of leadership, personal mastery is the one leaders need to focus on first and foremost in order to avoid becoming a statistic of leadership failure.”

There is a single STRATEGY we repeat in each of our 3 leadership tracks––for aspiring leaders, those moving to higher levels and for those of you in executive and senior positions:

“Commit yourself to personal and professional Mastery.”

Perfection is not a destination. It’s a never-ending process. Nowhere is this more true than in your life and career as a leader.

In THE SENSEI LEADER MOVEMENT we call this process “Beginner’s Mind.” I learned this process as a martial artist––as a Sensei. It applies perfectly to leaders as we must continually learn, grow and develop to be effective, to be relevant, and to best serve the people who trust in our leadership.

Prepare your aspiring and emerging leaders with these skills, these ideas and this mindset before you put their name on an office door.

That’s how you prepare new leaders for success.

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© 2019 by Black Belt Mindset Productions and Jim Bouchard