Issue 94 - 04 | Let’s Make Leadership Real Again

By Mike Figliuolo
Published May 9, 2012 11:00 a.m.
“What has happened to leadership? With all the crises and challenges we face and the increasingly risk-averse environment in which we operate, leadership has become generic, ephemeral, and bland.

We have devolved from leaders into managers. Admiral Grace Murray Hopper said it best—you manage things, but you lead people. The problem is we’re no longer leading. We’re hiding behind committees. We’re using the crutches of data and metrics to make our decisions for us. We blame policies and corporate culture for the problems our teams face rather than delivering the tough messages with a sense of ownership.

The result of all of this is our people don’t trust us anymore. Work has become transactional. They do the work and we pay them. It’s a fee-for-service mindset. When they find someone who will pay them more for their services, they’re gone. And when we no longer have need of their services, we simply cast those people aside. It’s a toxic environment. It’s hard for people to trust their leaders when they feel like they’re simply a cog in the machine.”

About Mike Figliuolo | Mike Figliuolo is the Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC—a leadership development and training firm. His book One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership is designed to help leaders define who they are and what their personal leadership philosophy is. He’s an Honor Graduate of West Point and has spent many years in corporate and entrepreneurial roles. You can contact him at

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