Why Leadership Development is Superficial and How to Fix It

You’re missing the point if all you want to do is become a better leader. Your vision is puny. Maybe you’re self-centered.

My passion:

Developing leaders is a secondary passion in my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I love leadership development. But in itself, leadership development is superficial.

I develop leaders because I love and respect followers.

When leaders get better, the lives they touch get better.

When you get better at leading:

  1. Others matter more. You matter less.
  2. Everyone around you becomes more productive and fulfilled.
  3. Teams function better.

Develop your leadership because you love and respect followers.

The better you are at leading – the richer, more fulfilling, and productive are the lives of the people who follow you.

Understanding aspiration:

Aspiration is dissatisfaction with the gap between now and not-yet.

Aspiration is dissatisfaction with who-you-are-now and who-you-hope-to-be in the future.


Aspiration for better leadership is dissatisfaction with your current:

  1. Effectiveness in creating environments where people thrive.
  2. Courage to address tough issues with forward-facing curiosity.

The above skills and traits matter because when you get better, the lives of those around you get better.

Aspiring for humility is dissatisfaction with your current:

  1. Passion for the spotlight.
  2. Need to be right.

A conversation with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on aspiration. Author of, “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and how to fix it).”


Many leaders are motivated to develop their leadership because their lives are filled with frustration and disappointment.

If you’re frustrated with your leadership, the people around you are frustrated too. Misery flows downhill.

The value of misery is it motivates.

Get your head out of your butt. The real reason to develop your leadership isn’t to make your life better. It’s to make the lives of others better.

How might leadership development efforts move from superficial to meaningful?

Contact Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic:

Twitter: @drtcp

Website: www.drtomas.com