The leadership industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with organizations of all sizes and sectors seeking to improve their leadership performance and achieve their goals. Despite this growing demand for leadership expertise, leaderologists – professionals who specialize in the study and practice of leadership – are relatively rare in the industry. In this article, we’ll explore why leaderologists are so rare and why organizations should consider investing in this critical role – before everyone else finds out.
Lack of Awareness
One of the biggest reasons leaderologists are so rare is simply a lack of awareness of their role and the benefits they can provide. Because of the discipline’s youth, many people have yet to discover that leadership is a social science and that leadership degrees are an option. Accordingly, many organizations are unaware that leaderologists are an option for them. Similarly, leaderologists are still rare enough that organizations may not prioritize this role in their organizational structure. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness on so many fronts can lead to missed opportunities to improve leadership performance and achieve organizational goals.
Limited Career Opportunities
Another reason leaderologists are so rare is limited career opportunities in the field, largely due to the initial point. Despite the growing demand for leadership expertise and because of the lack of awareness, there are currently fewer career opportunities for leaderologists, particularly in smaller organizations, smaller towns, or in less developed regions. The demand appears to be focused in larger cities, with larger organizations understanding the value. While this exciting situation encourages the adventurous to get in on the ground floor of a booming discipline, it can discourage others from pursuing it. That said, this issue is changing rapidly.
Complex and Evolving Field
The science of leadership is a highly complex and evolving field, pulling from many other social sciences. As such, it requires a deep understanding of more than just leadership theory and practice. This complexity can be overwhelming and make it difficult for individuals to develop the knowledge and expertise needed to become effective leaderologists.
Confusion in the Industry
Another factor that may discourage individuals from pursuing a career in leaderology is confusion in the industry between “pep rally” or “guru” leadership, interdisciplinary components, and the actual science of leadership. Pep rally or guru leadership often focuses on charismatic and motivational components of leadership. On the other hand, leaderologists bring a scientific and data-driven approach to leadership based on research, experience, and best practices. Those unfamiliar with the science, or those who underappreciate what leadership has become, may have strong misconceptions or confusion regarding the industry, what it offers, and where it is going.
Limited Education and Training
Another reason why leaderologists are so rare has to do with education. Some schools are forced to blur their leadership degrees (such as “Leadership Management Degree,” or “Management with a specialization in Leadership”) due to having limited access to knowledgeable leaderologists from the field to teach or being unaware of the differences. Similarly, some schools still see leadership as interdisciplinary and have not fully embraced leaderology’s growth or trajectory. Moreover, few students are currently encouraged to dedicate their entire academic career to leadership. Similarly, many students are simply unaware that doing so is an option or may not appreciate what such dedication might do for their careers.
The exact number of people with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in leadership is not readily available. At the time of this writing, it is believed to be relatively low. However, it is safe to say that the number of people with degrees in leadership has increased dramatically in recent years as the importance of leadership in various industries and organizations has become more widely recognized, and more schools offer such programs. The trend will continue due to the growing demand for leadership expertise, the introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics, and as more universities provide educational programs for individuals interested in pursuing a career in leaderology.
Leaderologists are a rare but valuable resource in the leadership industry. Despite the growing demand for leadership expertise, leaderologists are still relatively scarce for various reasons. However, as leaderology continues to grow, we will see leaderologists become more plentiful. Still, organizations that invest in leaderologists and prioritize this role in their organizational structure can reap the strategic advantage and significant benefits they provide and achieve their goals more effectively.