Interesting Statistics About Effective Leadership

You can’t read about leadership without coming across some incredibly eye-opening statistics. After all, it’s the leaders that direct an organization and keep things running smoothly. As such, it’s no wonder that there is so much research put into effective leadership, how to develop your leaders, why leadership matters, etc.

Here are five of the most interesting statistics about effective leadership that I’ve come across lately.

10,000 Baby Boomers Retire Every Day

To be honest, this statistic got spun a bit when it was initially released. That being said, it’s not inaccurate. Around 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age-- age 65-- every day, according to the numbers. What does this mean for business?

If an organization hasn’t started implementing a succession plan yet, the time is now. In a few short years, baby boomers will be gone from the workforce, taking with them years of expertise and experience. In a nutshell, the next generation has some big shoes to fill. While the millennials are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019, we will see a drop in 20 million people from the Baby Boomers to Gen X, before picking back up with the Millennials. It’s time for businesses to make plans.

79% of Employees Quit Due to “Lack of Appreciation”

Empowering your employees and showing appreciation is one of the simplest things you can do as a leader to keep things running smoothly. It’s worth noting that another statistic quotes that a similar percentage of bosses think employees quit because they want more money.

While there’s likely some overlap here-- lots of employees will see increased compensation as a form of appreciation-- it’s likely that there are many of these individuals who don’t know how else to ask for more appreciation other than through a raise.

63% of Millennials Feel a Lack of Leadership Development

This is a scary statistic, especially considering the fact that we’re coming into one of the most significant leadership gaps in history. We’re about to lose a huge number of leaders from the workplace, yet many businesses are failing to give up-and-coming employees the leadership development they feel they need to succeed.

Again, this reiterates the importance of succession planning and creating a workplace culture that facilitates coaching, mentorship, and growth.

The More Women in Leadership, the Better the Shareholder ROI

The “CS Gender 3000” report is a collection of information from around the globe, looking at 27,000 managerial positions from 3000 global business leaders. In this study, they quote:

“With regards to business performance, we find clear evidence that companies with a higher proportion of women in decision-making roles continue to generate higher returns on equity, while running more conservative balance sheets. In fact, where women account for the majority in the top management, the businesses show superior sales growth, high cash flow returns on investments and lower leverage.”

This also showed that women hold just shy of 15% of board of director roles. While this is an unfortunately small number, it’s a 54% increase from 2010.

This statistic tells us that we need to do more to get women on the executive floor, and why hiring women into an organization that promotes leadership development and growth is essential for success.

Only 5% of Businesses Have Implemented Leadership Development at All Levels

Perhaps the reason that so many people feel as though they have limited opportunities for success is because the majority of leadership development is done at higher levels within the organization. It almost becomes a “chicken or the egg” situation, in which employees feel the need for more leadership development to advance, but aren’t able to get it until they advance.

Again, this ties into succession planning and appreciation. According to the Brandon Hall Research Group’s “State of Leadership Development 2015” report, the time to act is now. Only 5% of businesses have implemented inclusive leadership development opportunities, while 83% of organizations have deemed this an important action for succession. In short, no one is ready to meet the upcoming gap in leadership.

Key Takeaways

These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to effective leadership. There are significant gaps regarding both gender and age, as well as the basic idea of businesses getting in line with the times.

However, not all hope is lost. By reviewing the numbers and comparing to where we once were, it’s easy to see that progress has been made in many areas in the last few years.

To bridge the gap between female and male workers, the various generations, and create a workplace of diversity and inclusion for all, organizations should consider bringing in outside consultants and coaches to help put more women on the executive floor, override unconscious bias and create opportunities for marginalized groups, and foster beneficial conversations between generations. Only then can we make these statistics less startling.

Meredith Wailes is the president of Bloom Leadership, founder of SEED, and an advisor and builder of women who impact social change. Contact her via or connect on LinkedIn to see how she can help you.