In Aurecon’s latest Just Imagine blog post, Chief Experience Officer Maureen Thurston argues that while there are millions of resources on leadership development and that we are spending billions of dollars on executive coaching, it seems that our current ‘breed’ of leaders are failing us and we need a new one – especially in these times.
When Wally Conran opened a letter from Hawaii, he never imagined the impact it would have on the world. Back in the 80s, Wally was the breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia (now known as Guide Dogs Victoria). The letter was from a visually impaired woman who was asking Wally for help given her husband was allergic to dog hair. Wally assumed the solution would be a ‘piece of cake‘ by training standard poodles, known for their hypoallergenic coats, size and strength.
Yet 3 years later after 33 different attempts, Wally couldn’t turn a standard poodle puppy into what it wasn’t. Compared to Labrador Retrievers, considered the best guide dog breed, poodles simply didn’t have what it takes. The experiment failed.
Like the husband and wife waiting in Hawaii, we wait and wonder why our current ‘breed’ of leaders fails to meet our expectations. It’s not for the shortage of intellectual discourse on the subject: a quick Google search on ‘leadership’ garnered 884 million results. So much information yet look around… we continue to suffer a crisis of leadership in business, politics, religion, everywhere it seems. The headlines are filled with the follies, faux pas and failures of our elected leaders. Under the guise of ‘leadership’, reports of thinly veiled narcissism prevail.
This article was first published Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog. Just Imagine provides a glimpse into the future for curious readers, exploring ideas that are probable, possible and for the imagination.
Also published on Medium.