Coaching And Mentoring: The Leadership Skills Gap

If you asked a bunch of HR and Learning and Development (L&D) professionals what they think are the top three leadership skills gaps, what do you reckon they’d say? Given what we’ve been through these past few years (and may have to wade through for some time yet), you might think business, or finance, or commerce, right? No. Not according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Their research suggests the skills gap is more acute in these areas:

  1. Performance management. This topped the chart with all sectors giving it over 50%. So everywhere you look, it seems there are leaders who need to step up to managing performance. One can’t help but wonder how much this is prompted (or maybe provoked would be a better word) by HR people having to pick up lots of pieces when it comes to dealing with performance problems.
  2. Leading and managing change came a close second, with its high ranking skewed by a whopping 71% of respondents in the manufacturing and production centre saying this was their top skills gap. Hmmm… is this because these people have a clear idea of what’s headed their way? Or are the numbers skewed because their oppos in all the other sectors can’t see up the road?
  3. Leading and people management, in third place, was a skills gap that spanned private, public and not-for-profit sectors, but was less of a big deal for the manufacturing lot, who must think people leadership skills are a luxury or a folly akin to Titanic/deckchair moving, given their pre-occupation with change.
  4. Coaching, mentoring and developing staff. More talent management skills in the gap here, but worth noting that this gap only narrowly beat the fifth-placed one, and that was because it got a big, “Yes, we need that”, from the public sector. Other sectors viewed this skills gap more in line with……
  5. Business and commercial acumen. Ah there you are!! Wondered where you’d been hiding…

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