What Do Crises Say About Leadership?

Observed global crises speak volumes about the state of leadership as commonly understood. Through world events, the world can see leadership development, practice, and over 90% of the theories are failing. COVID-19, the fall of the Afghan Government, the Ukraine invasion, governmental divisions, and uprisings in Iraq and Sri Lanka are just a few pieces of evidence demonstrating failure.

However, if world events do not say enough about leadership, let us see what global executives say. In a joint survey by the Milken Institute and The Harris Poll, 63% of the survey’s participants say “their leaders are out of touch with the rest of the country” (Milken Institute, 2020). The Odgers Berndtson Leadership Confidence Index 2020 reveals, “across the world, only 15% of executives are confident in their leaders to deliver” (Berndtson, 2020). Further, a McKinsey Quarterly article reported a mere seven percent believed their companies were developing effective leaders back in 2017. In addition, the world witnessed some of the largest corporate failures about a decade earlier. What is the problem? Why has not development spending in the tens of billions reversed obvious trends in polls and the real-world?

A crises resulting from purported leadership.
Group of young people manifesting against war in Ukraine

What Crises Says About Leadership to a Top Expert

“Above all, a lack of understanding exists.” That is to say, most of what we see in the world that is called leadership is not. So, because of a common misunderstanding, leadership gets a bad wrap, and nations have crises. Our leadership expert and scholar stated misunderstandings began in academia with early leadership studies. The writings Kenneth-Maxwell Nance refers to are the studies of Carlyle and Galton in 1840 and 1869, respectively. Consequently, the literature led to a misunderstanding that leaders needed to be heroic, a man, and be a product of inherited genius. These foundational studies and other writings contributed to the practice of leadership and now contribute to the results.

An increasing list of traits, behaviors, and skills has become the focus of what is called leadership. The list exceeds 101 must-haves. However, an important fact to understand, as the listing and spending increased, confidence in leadership decreased. Coming from the perspective of a scholar, it is simple. If leadership is failing, resulting in crises, it is not leadership because leadership works. If leadership is not increasing performance to the best it can be, it is not leadership. A recent study determined the most important aspect of leadership is missing from 95 percent or more of its theories.

What are the Solutions

Our resident leadership expert and scholar Kenneth-Maxwell Nance strongly suggests “leadership’s grand theory (LGT), frequent enough practice, and LGT at scale.” Leadership’s grand theory clearly explains how leadership works and does not work. LGT is usable anywhere. The nature of the theory, although high-level, is practical. In articles from McKinsey Quarterly and other sources, less than 15 percent of executives have confidence in leaders to deliver and the prospect of their development programs. Kenneth-Maxwell does not understand why executives responsible for return on investment (ROI) continue with development that has not worked. In almost every crisis faced by nations over the past two decades, the major contributing factor was purported leadership. Scholars such as Curphy, Pfeffer, and others spotlighted some of the problems around the crises.

If organizations practice leadership without its critical component, how can an organization expect and see better? If those in positions of accountability and responsibility do not read the symptoms or signs, they will face problems that contribute to crises. Kenneth-Maxwell, an industrial and organizational psychologist, helped to design leadership’s grand theory course at the LGT Academy. The LGT course will start with 2 million global learners to begin its impact across seven continents. The course introduction asserts that it is “the best in leadership towards the best in life.” To those who think leadership is not for them, it is “the best in life for the best in leadership.” The LGT Academy is seeking partners and collaborators to take the best in leadership to scale.


The LGT course comes with a guarantee never seen before in the development industry. It is an industry first, like the theory and the course. Importantly, LGT content has larger implications beyond the industry for global change and human progress. The academy will make some big announcements that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people around the globe – stay connected


    • MLI


      Thank you for your response! We too hope they get it, most are pretty sharp. However, simple skills is not makes leadership work. Look what happen to one of world’s top accounting firms, who were arguably the brightest. When they perceive the performance impact on the bottom line, they certainly get it. We have a couple organizations who train large companies interested. Thanks!

  1. JH Kim


    I read the study and your expert’s statement was right. If organizations do not listen to scientific reasons, the crisis they face may get their attention. I look forward to the big announcements!

    • MLI


      Thank you for your response! We have something that works if used, compared to the tens of billions spent globally resulting in what we see – crises. An important step is getting the word out there to help the lives and livelihoods of people around the globe. If you can help us, the world would greatly appreciate it. Thanks you!

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