Saying No to Leadership?

By Leon VanderPol





A number of years ago I noticed an interesting phenomenon within the organisations I was working: the younger generation of talent were shunning leadership roles.

Talking with management, I was increasingly hearing statements like: “Our people are not highly motivated to be leaders. Our people don’t see themselves as leaders. When they have a choice to lead, they don’t want it.”

This issue was not true for all companies, however this was not something I’d seen before, at least not as a pattern across organisations.

I am particularly interested in this phenomenon because there was a point in my career many years ago where I made a critical decision to say, “No, thank you” to leadership. I did.

I walked away from leadership; I didn’t want anything to do with it any more.

Here’s what happened:

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