One of the most stressful and painful experiences in my professional career has been to watch up-close the attrition of valuable experience and the dissipation and squandering of considerable, hard-earned intellectual capital, because of passive handwringing and a mystifying unwillingness to lead.
Immense value is lost simply because people in leadership positions simply will not stand up and assert ownership of the disciplines which are under their stewardship, or step up and drive from a position of real and tangible subject matter expertise. Such delicate assets are so very easily lost in the cracks of, or ground to dust by, the wasteful and inconsiderate machinations of corporate politics.
Ultimately, the biggest responsibility of business leaders is to realize, champion and harness the capabilities of the human capital placed under their control.
A failure to own this responsibility is nothing short of a betrayal of the promise that talent brings.