Leadership Statistics for Initiative Leaders in 2024

Updated Dec 7, 2022.

Leadership is one of the most important aspects of any company culture. Just like anything else, leadership has also been changing over the years.

Inspiring leaders should always strive to create a unique company culture and workspace, constantly motivate their employees to be more productive, and lead a company towards success.

In this blog, we’re going to cover the top business leadership statistics, leadership trends, training leaders, and how much business leadership has evolved over the past years. Continue reading to learn more about leadership skills statistics and some interesting poor leadership statistics.

Leadership Statistics (Highlights)

  • An estimated $166 billion is spent on the development of leadership each year in the United States
  • US-based businesses suffer $300 billion in loss each year due to workplace stress
  • Nearly 60% of business leaders reported feeling worn out at the end of their workday
  • The corporate training market is expected to reach an astonishing $26.7 billion by 2024
  • Even though they represent 54.3% of the workforce, women hold only 35% of senior leadership and managerial positions in US-based companies
  • Currently, there are over 44,654 leaders employed in the US
  • Only 10% of CEOs are natural leaders that guide their employees by example

Leadership Development Statistics

1. Almost 80% of companies reported a gap in leadership development


Although new jobs are opening, due to the retirement of older employees, almost 91% of millennials state that they do not intend to stay at the same company for longer than three years.

This opens up a huge gap in leadership development. More than 77% of companies share the same concerns regarding this leadership gap.

Approximately 84% of companies fear that this gap in leadership development will persist in the following five years.

The Leadership GAP
Source: SHRM

2. 83% of organizations believe that leadership development at all hierarchies is important


Business leaders and HR managers understand that leadership development performed internally makes for more powerful company culture and is more affordable.

However, only 5% of businesses have an implemented leadership development plan at all company levels.

Millennials have reported that companies are possibly facing severe repercussions due to not having a set leadership development plan in motion.

3. Only 19% of business managers believe that leadership development programs are relevant to their business


A large number of business managers are failing to understand the importance of leadership development, meaning that they’re failing the majority of the candidates they hire.

Only 49% of companies cross-skill and upskill their leaders, and only 31% of businesses engage in leadership development programs that could identify potential great leaders among their employees.

Moreover, approximately 20% of companies use similar programs in order to create a succession pipeline within their business organization.

Impact of Leadership Development_11zon
Source: Training Mag

4. 42% of business managers developed their leadership style through observation

(West Monroe)

The leadership style of a business leader is what directly impacts how effective they are in that role. It also impacts other aspects of business, such as retention, team morale, and overall performance.

An astonishing 42% of business managers acquired their leadership style through observation, not through leadership training. They most often learned through the observation of a former manager.

Moreover, companies choose the wrong type of candidate for business management positions 82% of the time.

5. An estimated $166 billion is spent on leadership development each year in the United States


Globally, an average of $366 billion is spent on leadership training and leadership development each year. Out of that, $166 billion is spent only in the United States.

Nearly 95% of learning organizations plan to maintain or even increase their current leadership development budget and implement leadership development plans and programs. However, only 5% of companies already have an implemented leadership development plan.

Approximately 74% of companies use instructor-led training, and 63% use executive coaching.

6. Up to 42% of corporations do not have a leadership competency framework that would guide their development plans


Due to the lack of a solid leadership competency framework, it has been estimated that around 42% of businesses aren’t able to create good development programs for their leaders and managers.

Interestingly enough, about 30% of those organizations actually blame their senior managers for not being able to create those development programs.

Moreover, 25% of them have stated that the development programs take too long to create, and 22% have stated that they are too expensive to create and put into motion.

The Most Common Causes of work related stress
Source: Perkbox

Leadership Stress Statistics

7. US-based businesses suffer $300 billion in loss each year due to workplace stress


Among 2000 people surveyed, approximately 35% of them have identified their boss as the main source of stress at their workplace. The survey also found that people expect business leaders to be more sympathetic towards them.

Moreover, 80% of employees stated that a change in management or leadership directly impacts their daily stress levels.

Last but not least, approximately 16% of employees quit their job in the past year due to high-stress levels.

Stress By Rank
Source: CKGSB

8. Almost 76% of recent survey respondents described their leaders as “toxic”


Additionally, only 1 in 5 employees truly believes that their business manager takes an active part in helping them make progress and reach full professional potential.

Just 27% of employees believe that the executives at their company appreciate and support their development ideas.

According to another recent survey, 76% of respondents are more likely to trust someone they don’t know more than their superiors.

9. Only 52% of employees in corporate America believe that their employer cares about their work-life balance


In 2019, approximately 80% of US workers experienced stress due to ineffective company communication.

A recent survey of 2000 professionals found that approximately 76% of respondents experience a negative impact on personal relationships due to work-related stress.

Moreover, 66% of the recent survey respondents stated that they’ve lost sleep in the past due to stress from work.

Leadership Burnout Statistics

10. Nearly 60% of business leaders reported feeling worn out at the end of their workday


Many great leaders have convinced themselves that multitasking means more productivity, but research has shown that multitasking actually leads to an astounding 40% of loss in productivity.

86% of current high-potential employees are feeling burnout, which could leave a lasting impact on future leadership.

11. Approximately 76% of business executives reported feeling overwhelmed due to work


Approximately 84% of business executives and business managers report internalizing fault for high employee burnout.

Nearly a third of business leaders, or 29% to be exact, stated that they wish their businesses would display more empathy towards them.

The number of burnout cases in senior management grew significantly, mostly due to working in a draining role for a long period of time.

12. 26% of recent survey respondents said they planned to leave their company due to burnout


Approximately 32% of great leaders feel less engaged in their work due to high burnout levels.

They are also 1.5 times more likely to feel used up at the end of each workday, and 2 times more likely to leave their current position in the next 12 months.

13. Nearly 44% of business leaders who feel used up expect to switch companies in order to advance professionally


A survey with more than 1000 participants found that 86% of employees and managers felt exhausted by the end of their workday – an increase of 27% compared to their previous year.

Additionally, 71% of managers are expecting their highest-performing and most engaged employees to quit due to severe burnout.

67% of leaders have admitted to being less productive because of burnout, and almost two-thirds of them admitted to making mistakes due to the effects of burnout.

14. Three in five employees and business leaders stated that their company had taken steps to prevent or minimize burnout


Burnout and work-related fatigue are equally affecting both remote employees and those working on-site.

About 3 in 10 employees and business managers wished that their company would better leverage technology to provide them with more flexibility, especially during the pandemic.

Burnout Increased Significantly for Managers
Source: Gallup

Leadership Training Statistics

15. The corporate leadership training market is expected to reach an astonishing $26.7 billion by 2024

(PR News Wire)

For each year that a company delays leadership training and improvement of leadership skills, they lose about 7% of its annual sales. Key leadership skills include decisiveness, integrity, problem-solving, and many more.

Additionally, up to 69% of millennials feel that there’s a lack of development and training of leaders at their company. The importance of millennials is growing with each year since baby boomers and generation X are slowly going into retirement.

Results from a study done by Research Gate show that those who undergo leadership training significantly improve their learning capacity – up to 25%. They also improve their performance by 20%.

16. According to research, leadership training boosts the behavior of business leaders by almost 30%

(2020 Training Industry Report)

According to the Global Leadership Forecast 2018, organizations that embrace an inclusive approach to leadership training are over 4 times more likely to perform better than companies that don’t allow for leadership and senior management development.

Out of those who have undergone any kind of training, leadership training statistics show that they successfully enhanced their leadership skills by 28%, with overall improvements in job performance and learning techniques.

17. Managers who have received proper leadership training are up to 88% more productive

(Two Mentor)

While some people possess inherent leadership skills and leadership qualities, those traits still need to be refined and directed to the appropriate channels via leadership training.

According to leadership training statistics, those who received proper training have significantly improved their agility and also the way they cope with workplace changes.

When do Managers First Get Leadership Training
Source: HBR

18. Approximately 58% of those in senior management roles have not had any formal training

(Career Builder)

It’s a well-known fact that the primary role of business managers is to be the bridge between the upper-level leaders and their employees. However, leadership statistics show that only 58% of those managers receive the proper training to become an effective leader.

Moreover, leadership statistics show that 22% of those managers believe they have got what it takes to create an engaging and unique work environment for their staff.

Additionally, it has been reported that men are 13% more likely to get training compared to women in leadership roles.

Female Leadership Statistics

19. Even though they represent 54.3% of the workforce, female leaders hold only 35% of senior positions in US-based companies


Women leadership statistics on a global level show that women hold only 24% of senior leadership positions. According to a study of nearly 22,000 publicly traded organizations around the globe, an astonishing 60% of them have no female board members.

Interestingly, even though women represent more than 50% of medical students in the US alone, they only account for a little over 36% of doctors as of 2019.

Similarly, women represent 54% of law students, but they only represent 37% of actual lawyers in the United States as of 2020.

Share of women in Senior Management Globally
Source: Consultancy

20. 8.2% of Fortune 500 Companies have female CEOs


Even though only 8.2% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, less than 1% of Fortune 500 companies have women of color as their CEOs.

One extensive study has shown that the two biggest challenges that are keeping women from having leadership positions are the fact that 43% of them are held to a higher standard, as well as the fact that many businesses (43%) are not willing to hire women for top executive positions.

Other factors as to why women did not hold leadership roles include family responsibility and not having enough time (23%), not asking for raises or promotions (18%), and not having the same type of business connections as men (20%).

21. Companies with women in leadership roles are 30% more likely to outperform others

(The Guardian)

In 2020, US-based startups had at least one woman among their founding members. In the European Union, at least 1 out of 3 business managers is female.

From 1972 up until 2019, the amount of female-owned businesses has increased from 4.6% to 42%.

According to the World Bank, women have more than $31.8 trillion in purchasing power around the globe.

22. Women hold only 29% of senior management roles


According to European Union’s Foreign Office, they have 40% of female board members in the top 100 publicly traded businesses as of 2019. In Europe, Latvia is the leading country when it comes to women in senior management positions – women in leadership roles make up 53%.

UK women hold positions in only 8 FTSE 250 companies as of October 2019. However, leadership statistics show that more and more women are being appointed manager roles and that the number of female board members has reached 29.6%.

An astonishing 59% of Canadians stated that they felt comfortable with female leaders.

23. Human Resources have the highest rates of women in leadership (almost 75%)


On average, female HR leaders earned $91,981 per year, while their male counterparts earned 13% more – $103,664 per year, meaning that there’s a significant gender gap when it comes to earnings.

As studies have shown, a greater number of female HR leaders most likely stems from the fact that women possess higher emotional intelligence and a better ability to sympathize. Other factors include them being better at resolving conflicts and being more informed about human resources in general.

Leadership Demographic Statistics

24. Currently, there are over 44,654 leaders employed in the US


When it comes to corporate America, the majority of leaders in situated in Chicago, IL, and New York City, NY. The average salary of these corporate leaders is $64,000 per year.

Additionally, the top 10% of the highest-paid corporate leaders earn up to $142,000 per year and more.

Interestingly enough, organizational leaders are less likely to work for private companies and more likely to work at public ones.

25. The average age of a leader is 46 years old


More than 70% of corporate leaders in the United States are 40 years old or more, while there are 23% of leaders between the ages of 30 and 40. Only 5% of leaders are between the ages of 20 and 30.

The majority (64%) of US leaders have a bachelor's degree, whereas 11% have an Associate's degree.

Only 10% of US-based leaders have a Master's degree. Those with a Master's degree earn significantly more than those without it – up to $130,435 per year. Leaders with only a high school diploma or less earn the least – up to $92,327 per year.

26. The most common ethnicity of leaders is White (65.1%)

(JAMA Network)

That number is followed by Hispanic or Latino leaders (16.6%), and finally Black or African American leaders (11.3%).

White leaders have the highest average salary when compared to other ethnicities – up to $89,532 per year. Similarly, Asian leaders earn up to $89,441 per year.

Black or African American leaders have been reported to earn up to $81,959 per year.

US Leadership
Source: Slack

27. In 2021, women earned 86% of what men earned

(Pew Research)

According to research, for each $1 earned by men, women earned 86¢. That means that the average yearly income in the US for male leaders is $92,327, whereas women in leadership earn $78,944.

Women in leadership represent 50.2% of US-based leaders, compared to 49.8% of leaders that are male.

When it comes to leadership roles, the gap between male and female leaders is very small, compared to other professions. For example, in dentistry, women account for more than 70% of the workforce.

28. Only 5% of leaders are LGBTQ+


When it comes to Fortune 500 companies, less than 0.3% of them had openly LGBTQ+ board directors in 2020. Beth Ford became the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO in 2018.

A study done by the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which included 88 companies, found significantly different results – 61% of participant companies reported having one or more LGBTQ+ persons in top leadership positions.

The top leadership positions included the roles of President, CEO, Owner, Top Management Team Member, Board of Directors, and Project Manager.

Business Leadership Statistics

29. Only 10% of people are natural leaders that can guide their employees by example


It is a well-known fact that good leadership has a significant impact on employees and leaves a lasting impression. It provides a more engaged and productive work environment.

Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 people are natural-born leaders that actually have the necessary leadership talent.

Additionally, the majority of companies actually fail to choose the right candidate for a position in leadership – up to 82% of the time.

30. Up to 38% of new leaders fail within their first 18 months


According to research done by a leadership development firm in Pennsylvania, 1 out of 10 freshly promoted executives and managers will fail within their first 18 months.

The following types of managerial roles experience the highest rates of failure: senior-level executive (39%), sales executive (30%), marketing executive (25%), and operations executive (23%).

Some of the major contributing factors as to why they experience failure is due to not establishing a cultural fit (75%), failing to create and build teamwork (52%), and uncertainty as to what their bosses expect of them (33%).

31. Only 14% of CEOs have the necessary leadership talent required to grow their business


A CEO is the highest-ranking employee of any business or corporation. As such, there are certain traits they must possess for good leadership, including an entrepreneurial mindset, confidence, critical thinking, trustworthiness, and acceptance.

They’re involved in all aspects of the organization, including business plan development, the hiring process, employee retention, and much more.

When it comes to gender statistics, approximately 59% of male employees actually aspire to become chief executive officers, compared to only 40% of women.

Out of those women who aspired to become CEOs, a small percentage of women (6%) are currently working as first-level managers, compared to 13% of men. 39% of those individuals are already working in executive-level positions.

32. 77% of corporations are experiencing leadership gaps


More and more corporations are finding it difficult to find people that are capable of leading, regardless of whether they’re hiring from within their business or outsourcing from an external talent pool.

There are indications that this gap will only continue to grow due to misunderstandings across all levels of business. For example, the majority of adults actually believe that an individual is responsible for growing their own leadership skills and obtaining the necessary education and training.

Instead of companies prioritizing developing leaders, future talent is pursuing higher education and employment with the hopes of getting the critical skills necessary for these leadership roles.

33. Up and coming leadership trends will ensure more women in senior management due to the 25% leadership shortage that occurred in 2018

(Harvard Business Review)

The latest trends show that women are actually more successful in leadership roles than their male counterparts. This means that we can expect a great percentage of women in the roles of leaders and managers.

This also means that we can expect to see an increase in women board members.

A significant percentage of women tend to be more cooperative in their leadership style, and they also tend to participate more, whereas men have a more controlling and commanding style of leadership.

34. Back in 2019, 70% of managers did not expect to get a promotion

(PR Newswire)

Approximately 70% of those who got promoted to a managerial position in 2019 did not expect it to happen. Out of them, 20% stated their excitement regarding the promotion and felt excited about the upcoming challenges and new opportunities.

Statistically, 19% of them only accepted the promotion due to the increase in pay that came with it, and 17% accepted the new role because it seemed like the logical next step in their professional career.

35. Companies using ILT leadership dropped by 10% following the COVID-19 pandemic


ILT, which is short for implicit leadership theory, is a cognitive theory of leadership that was developed and based on the idea that individuals create cognitive representations of the world and use those notions to interpret their own surroundings and control their behaviors.

Since the global health crisis imposed social distancing measures, this impacted the methods used to teach leadership theory significantly. In fact, its use decreased by 10%.

Due to this, the use of virtual instructor-led training increased by 19%. Blended learning methods saw an increase in use by 7%.

Why Is Leadership Improvement And Development So Important?

Businesses that actually invest in human capital have been proven to deliver stock market returns that are up to 5 times higher than those that don’t. This is why it is of utmost importance to develop leaders and nurture their professional growth.

The development of a company’s leadership boosts employee engagement and actually helps the organization deal with gaps in its talent pipeline more easily and efficiently. This in turn reduces the costs associated with employee turnover and improves the company’s success.

Great leaders are known to inspire and attract equally great employees. Someone who does not possess the necessary leadership traits and skills will not be able to retain or even attract high-performing employees, which will, in turn, deteriorate the development of the entire business.

Effective leadership and its development will consequently lead to the improvement of the overall performance of the entire organization. Leadership development statistics also show that businesses need to have a connection between leadership strategy and business strategy.

This drives better strategy execution and allows businesses to shape the strategy and culture of their organization freely. Currently, approximately 42% of businesses are short of a leadership competency framework.

How Can These Leadership Statistics Help You?

Regardless of whether you’re currently working in one of several managerial positions, or you’re looking to try yourself out in one of those leadership roles, these leadership statistics and leadership trends can help you gain valuable insight.

By learning more about effective leadership, leadership qualities statistics, as well as some bad leadership stats, you’ll be able to more effectively develop both your personal and professional skills and improve your leadership capabilities.

There are a lot of ways that businesses and corporations can avoid having poor leaders and becoming part of bad leadership statistics, including learning how to develop leaders and increase their leadership success rates.

Nurturing leadership talent and enhancing leadership traits and leadership performance are all crucial factors that can help any business grow and thrive in today’s economy and world.


  1. CrestCom
  2. Workplace
  3. Medium
  4. West Monroe
  5. Forbes
  6. MMC
  7. Tlnt
  8. McKinsey
  9. Apa
  10. Forbes
  11. HrMorning
  12. DDIworld
  13. Kronos
  14. Pr News Wire
  15. Two Mentor
  16. Career Builder
  17. 2020 Training Industry Report
  18. Catalyst
  19. BizJournals
  20. The Guardian
  21. JAMA Network
  22. Pew Research
  23. Zippia
  24. Inc.com
  25. ProventusHR
  26. Forbes
  27. LinkedIn
  28. Harvard Business Review
  29. PR Newswire
  30. Royle

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.