True dit - I really upset a very senior manager, when he graced the MSc course we were doing with a visit and magnanimously asked "what could senior management do better?"There's something in that, but a key requirement for the sort of inspirational leadership you describe is the ability to define and communicate a proper vision and way ahead and convince and inspire with it; all too typically, the thinking from the C-Suite reaches hoi polloi as just another set of meaningless slogans and buzz phrases and is generally treated with near total contempt as 'there'll be another on in a few months' time, anyway'.
I pointed out that we had just done the fourth "business re-evaluation" exercise in five years, where we'd meant to be exploring all the problems and issues from boardroom to shop floor, nothing off the table, everyone's voice important, et cetera... and just as with the previous three cycles, the only thing that changed was the slogan at the launch, and one wag had even recycled the Post-It notes of the problems identified to highlight "same answers as when you asked the same questions last November"..
If the same questions kept being asked, and the same answers offered, and nothing changed... was he surprised that enthusiasm for the exercise disappeared and employees disengaged from the process and felt disregarded and unvalued? Why did we keep starting the process, letting it fizzle out, then trying to reignite it, without ever acknowledging "issues A, B, D and F are Too Difficult, because we've looked..."?
This was very clearly the Wrong Answer and he got quite annoyed at my "negative attitude" where I was merely pointing at problems, instead of finding solutions and implementing them.
Which led to the question that if it was my job to find the problems, my job to work out how to solve them, my job to implement those solutions, all to be fitted around actually generating profit for the company... what was his job and why did we need him?
Perhaps coincidentally, of the eight of us on that MSc course, only one was still with the company three years later... and five years on, I was sitting in at the launch of a "Systems Engineering Our Future" programme in my new job, and one of the leading lights behind the MSc I'd done opened with the warning that if you took your keener staff, helped them get a valuable and marketable qualification in order to "transform the business", then told them to get back to their old role, no change from before... they'd find someone who appreciated them more. And he was looking my way at the time...