Why Capable People Are Reluctant To Lead

One of the biggest challenges CEOs today say they are facing is lack of leadership talent to carry the organization forward. But it is not a lack of talent that is at the root of this problem.

My guest this week is Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Based on his award-winning research, this challenge CEOs are facing is caused by the fact that 40%-50% of capable leaders are not stepping up because of the risks involved in leadership roles.

Today Scott shares the research behind his article titled, Why Capable People Are Reluctant To Lead, as well as what we can do to change that.

  • The three kinds of risks that deter people from leadership positions
  • How we can overcome all three risks
  • What separates great leaders from average ones
  • The biggest mistakes Scott sees leaders making
  • The most important thing for leadership development

“One thing that we can all do to maximize our own potential is lean into those risks — Whether it’s outcome risk, whether it’s image risk, whether it’s interpersonal risk — let’s not let that risk hold us back. But let’s lean into it. Let’s embrace that risk. And in doing so, by stepping up and assuming these leadership roles, we’re able to have a bigger impact in the world.” — Scott DeRue


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast platform.

If you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking and working with some of the world’s top leaders. Here are 15 of my favorite leadership lessons that I learned from the CEOs of organizations like Netflix, Honeywell, Volvo, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and others. I hope they inspire you and give you things you can try in your work and life. Get the PDF here.


4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com. Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work