Leadership Statistics: Training, Demographics, and COVID-19

Businesses primarily rely on their leaders for expertise and timely decisions, especially during a crisis. No wonder leadership is one of the most discussed topics.

Here are some of the questions that pop into people’s minds when talking about leadership. Are leaders self-made or naturally born? What’s the secret behind good leadership? How has leadership changed with the impact of the pandemic? Check out the following statistics and facts to find out.

Top Leadership Statistics: Editor’s Choice

Why Is Leadership Development Important in Business?

When it comes to motivating and communicating with your team members, leaders play the most critical role. They make sure that team members understand and work toward achieving business goals. They also set new goals, monitor progress, provide resources and guidance, and build trust with team members. Here are some facts about leadership development.

1. A mere 19% of managers believe that leadership development programs are important.

Many managers overlook the importance of leadership development, failing the candidates they hire. In today’s digital era, innovative and engaging training and development courses are a must if companies want to move forward.

2. 83% of companies agree that it’s crucial to develop leaders at all levels.

With these leadership development statistics in mind, how many businesses actually train leaders for all levels? Sadly, only 5% have implemented programs for leadership development. With that said, the existing development gap is somewhat conflicting.

3. In 2020, 77% of organizations experienced a leadership gap.

Baby boomers’ retirement is slowly creating new job opportunities. However, these alarming leadership gap statistics confirm that companies still report a considerable gap—and for a good reason. A whopping 91% of millennials have no intention of working for the same company for more than three years.

4. 49% of companies upskill and cross-skill their leaders.

While these leadership development trends seem promising, only 31% of businesses use leadership development programs to identify potential leaders among employees. Furthermore, 20% of them use such programs to create a succession pipeline. Those percentages need to go up to talk about successful leadership development.

5. A staggering 71% of companies believe there’s a lack of leadership abilities among leaders that are essential for future progress.

Although businesses are willing to spend more money on leadership development, over 70% of organizations aren’t convinced their leaders have relevant skills to guide them into the future. On top of that, only 19% of firms say they’re “very effective” at developing leaders.

Leadership Training Statistics

New managers need consistent and proper training to be successful. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Most of the time, managers are left with their own mixed results.

6. By 2024, the leadership training market is expected to increase by $26.7 billion.

According to leadership training statistics, corporations have decided to invest more in teaching their employees how to become efficient leaders. In fact, the compound annual growth rate has reached almost 13%.

Over the last few years, businesses have finally understood how beneficial and cost-efficient it is to train employees instead of hiring outsiders.

7. Leadership stats reveal that training increases leadership behavior by 28%.

What’s more, about 25% of employees that had leadership training boosted their knowledge and organization skills. Other than leadership abilities, about 20% have improved their overall performance in the workplace.

Therefore, the benefits of leadership training include productivity, retaining employees, nurturing future leads, and improving engagement.

8. Around 58% of managers don’t have any leadership training.

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of managers haven’t received any training for their role. While this doesn’t always translate into bad leadership, statistics show that best-performing businesses always make sure that future management is fully qualified for that position. Anyone working for a firm at a senior level needs adequate skills to lead a successful team.

Women Leadership Statistics

Nowadays, how many women are in management roles? Is the gap between male and female CEOs closing? The following statistics will give you a clearer picture of women in entrepreneurship.

9. Women currently hold 6% of CEO positions.

When talking about women in leadership, statistics prove that this figure is an all-time record. While there’s still plenty of room for improvement, women have seen new accomplishments over the past years. For example, Mary T. Barra, the CEO of General Motors Company, is one of the most influential managers of 2021.

10. African women account for 38% of senior managers.

Even though these leadership trends might come as a surprise, Africa is the region that has taken the lead in advocating gender equality in the workplace. Eastern Europe comes in second place with 35% of women in management roles, followed by Latin America with 33% and the European Union with 30%.

11. At 53%, Latvia is the only EU country where female managers are the majority.

While there are no available leadership statistics for 2021, the latest data by Eurostat shows that Latvia boasts the highest number of women in managerial positions, followed by Bulgaria and Poland, with 49% and 48% female managers, respectively.

12. Only 62% of Canadians feel very comfortable with women in leadership positions.

When it comes to women in leadership roles, these statistics are disappointing. There’s still a big slice of Canadians that don’t feel comfortable with women in decision-making positions, despite the continuous fight against gender inequality and sexism. When broken down by gender, 67% of women and 57% of men are comfortable with female CEOs.

13. In 2020, only 28% of US startups had at least one woman as a founding member.

Statistics on leadership and management prove that the number of women launching startups has increased in recent years. It has grown from 22% in 2017 to 28% in 2020, but we’re still far away from gender equality in leadership roles.

Demographics and Statistics on Leadership

Now that you have a better understanding of women’s involvement in entrepreneurship and their struggles with acquiring management roles let’s look into leadership demographics by age and country.

14. The average age of a general and operations manager is 43.6.

Statistics about leadership show that men in leadership roles are around 2.43 years older than their female counterparts—male general and operations managers are 44.4, while female managers are 42 years old, on average.

15. About 72% of young people in G7 nations aged 18–34 believe both sexes are equally suitable for management roles.

While these fascinating leadership facts are good news, younger generations are less supportive of gender equality in management and leadership than any other generation. In comparison, 76% of people aged 55–65 consider both sexes equally suitable for leadership roles.

More than a third of millennials in leadership positions took the opportunity to learn new work-related skills during the pandemic. Speaking of leadership skills, statistics also showed that 32% of millennials in senior positions learned new work-related skills during the pandemic in their free time.

17. 43% of UK leaders rate their management as ineffective.

Considering that leadership is an essential part of small businesses, as well as large organizations, this statistic is quite alarming. As confirmed by leadership statistics in the UK, only one leader out of five can be considered fully qualified.

18. 74% of employees in Australia agree that equal representation in senior positions is important.

When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, most Australians feel optimistic about it. Although many recognize the importance of women in senior management, leadership statistics in Australia prove that almost half of them believe that this goal hasn’t been achieved.

What’s more, 44% of employed Australians feel that limited working options hold women back from achieving gender equality in leadership positions.

Leadership Statistics During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This pandemic has brought uncertainty into people’s households and communities, causing many people to lose their jobs as a result. So let’s see what leaders have or haven’t done to improve the situation.

19. Only 11% of HR claim to have a solid bench to fill leadership roles.

If you think that HR is ready to fill new roles, these leadership development statistics will prove you wrong. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, bench strength dropped to its lowest point. Considering that the demand for leadership roles stood at 14% in 2017, the global forecast is expecting a constant decline in years to come.

20. Only 16% of millennial leaders have focused on their employees’ physical and mental health during the pandemic.

Millennial leadership statistics indicate that 31% of workers have felt anxious or stressed since the beginning of the pandemic. However, not many millennial leaders have focused on their workers’ health. Unfortunately, the higher the stress level, the less support they received.

21. Employees say that 78% of their companies have responded well to the coronavirus crisis.

These statistics on leadership in the workplace are encouraging. Although many companies managed to respond properly to this global threat, employees still feel the stress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. As a result, they feel like they should rely on their leaders.

Other Interesting Facts About Leadership

Now that you’ve gathered the most notable stats and facts about leadership, let’s see what it takes to be a successful leader and how many CEOs will possibly attain that goal.

22. 40% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months.

Not only do new leaders fail in such a short time, but they also end up causing leadership problems in organizations. Too much confidence or absence of it, lack of training, wrong expectations, and not listening to team members are only some of the reasons behind their disastrous failure.

23. One in five people is highly engaged and risks burnout.

While disengagement might be an issue in the workplace, the most recent leadership burnout statistics show that over-engagement can lead to a similar condition. While dedication, professionalism, and high engagement might be excellent traits, many people have faced stress and burnout as a result.

24. A whopping 80% of workers feel stressed due to a change in leadership.

Leadership facts confirm that a new manager or leader makes employees feel stressed. Moreover, 35% of workers agree that bosses are mostly the cause of stress in the workplace.

Leadership Statistics: The Takeaway

Unfortunately, having a bad leader in the workplace is not that unusual. However, instead of focusing on bad leadership, it’s more important to determine what makes a good leader—integrity, accountability, empathy, modesty, reliability, vision, and optimism are some of the most critical yet often overlooked characteristics.

Motivating employees, boosting morale, ensuring excellent communication, and implementing training programs are the most notable benefits of good leadership.

Moreover, leaders must keep in mind that the business world is fast-paced. That’s why they need to be ready to adapt to new trends quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are different leadership styles?

To learn about the origin of leadership styles, we need to go back to 1939. Back then, Kurt Lewin and a group of researchers defined different leadership styles.

The study gave life to the three major leadership styles, which are authoritarian leadership (also known as autocratic), participative leadership (or democratic), and delegative leadership (or laissez-faire). 

Furthermore, more studies conducted years after established three new leadership styles: transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and situational leadership.

How does communication affect the leadership process? 

Leadership is all about communicating in the most effective way. Understandably, good leadership and communication skills are intertwined. An excellent leader is capable of connecting with employees at all levels. 

Being creative, expressing opinions, coming up with innovative ideas, solving problems, and sharing information with a massive audience are only some of the primary tasks of a good leader. Furthermore, another crucial aspect is managing information flow within an organization. 

What is the most effective leadership style?

Since we’ve already explained the leadership styles, we need to determine which is the best one. The truth is that these leadership styles cover different demands. So, it’s not possible to tell which one is more effective. 

Depending on the strategy or the situation, a leader can switch from authoritarian leadership to laissez-faire. A good leader knows how and when to change leadership styles depending on a company, business goals, and circumstances. 

Why is leadership important in the workplace?

As proven by leadership statistics, true leaders have plenty of knowledge and skills to manage a team of employees. They have integrity, humility, empathy, courage, gratitude, respect for others, etc. As a result, effective leadership motivates employees to be more productive and set bigger goals. 

Good leaders are valuable because they drive the team forward, inspire team members, and take full responsibility for making risky decisions.


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