The Leaders and the Left Out by Rob Walker at the New York Times on 28 December 2013.
In this write-in question to the New York Times, however, it would seem that an organization has overused the word. The issue raised by an anonymous person in a “Dear Abby:” format is that 35 people of a 80-person organization (44%) are on the company’s Leadership Council – this leaves the remaining 45 people feeling left out. Particularly humourous (although not for the person concerned) is that in the person’s department of 13 people there are “…one senior vice president, two senior directors, one director, one senior manager, four managers…and the rest of us.” For those of you doing the math, that’s nine people in management overseeing four “workers” – it conjures up the oft-used image of the stereotypical roadside construction crew. The works are either incredibly well-led, or, more likely, titles have simply become over-inflated over time.
Personally, I think this council is rather too large – I don’t know the company, but I’m certain that it could be pared down to less than 10. More importantly, however, is that I think the company may not be aware of the culture that it has created – at the nearly 50% mark, this situation seems to be a tug-of-war, with the potential to create a huge divide if it has not already done so.