What leaders are most concerned about right now [Recent survey analysis]

leadership Mar 04, 2021

Recently, I had launched a survey among my readers and clients with an important question: "What is your biggest frustration in leadership right now? In other words: What is causing you the most problems, regardless of current challenges because of Corona, physical separation, etc.?"

The auxiliary question was, "If you could change one thing in leadership for yourself, what would it be?"

I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of responses, and I'm sure we can all learn from them. The good news is that about 80% of the responses fall into three main categories.

Here are the main response categories, conclusions and recommendations from the survey that you can benefit from directly:


Category 1: Impact as a Leader


Most of the responses revolve around how to influence others as a leader, how to build mutual trust, and how to improve collaboration as a result. Some statements relate directly to the difficulties with physical separation because of Covid, but most express fundamental challenges with influence.


Influence is the most important success factor for leadership. You could even say leadership equals influence. After all, how can you lead without influence? Influence requires clarity, trust and reliability. Therefore, it is crucial for the quality of one's own leadership to continuously develop one's skills for influencing others. Among many other things, this includes communication, presentation skills and clarity.

By the way, all this has very little to do with spatial separation which works more like an indicator: if there was already too little influence and trust before, this is now becoming obvious.

Recommended action:

The many responses in this category show how important it is to continuously work on your own influence as a leader. I can confirm this from my work with various top leaders. That's why improving influence on others is almost always a focus topic in coaching.


Category 2: Productivity and focus


The responses in this category mostly relate to the challenge of having too many balls in the air on an ongoing basis and feeling overwhelmed as a result. Delegating is often difficult, and rational time management rarely succeeds. Often, the focus on the truly important stuff gets lost.


In my experience, the topic of productivity and focus is too often undervalued in leadership. Yet, it is crucial for personal success and that of the team being led. Too many leaders are being pushed rather than owning their day and setting priorities actively and strategically.

Recommended Action:

Make your own productivity as a leader a top priority. Because if you can't lead yourself at the highest level, you will not be able to do the same with your team. Productivity and focus are crucial topics in self-leadership, which you can specifically improve through coaching, for example. I, personally, see clear potential here for almost every leader I work with.


Category 3: Lack of willingness to change


The responses in this category refer to the fact that too often the team or individuals show too much inertia or too little willingness to change. There is talk of "entrenched structures" and too little ambition. Obstacles are seen more often than opportunities.


The issue of "willingness to change" surfaces in any effort to establish a winning team culture. In many organizations, the courage to change is not particularly strong. Attention, here comes the crucial point: It is your responsibility as a leader to increase this willingness to change and to keep it at a high level. However, there is often a lack of suitable methods and also the necessary questioning of your own beliefs.

Recommended action:

Especially in today's world and in the future, the team's willingness to change is a critical issue for success. You can hardly rely on the fact that everything will continue as before. Therefore, I recommend making this aspect a strategic focus in your leadership and team development. Individual and team coaching are very effective tools.



The many answers in these three success-critical categories show the considerable potential that lies dormant in leadership. In other words, you can massively increase your leadership quality and thus your own success as well as the success of your team if you work on them consistently and systematically.

If you are serious about this, you now have two options:

You continue as before or you simply ➔ contact me. Then, we'll see how I can help you with the mentioned topics.

To your success!


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