The Difficult Truth About Leadership

It’s no secret that employee turnover is directly related to the quality of leadership.

The difficult truth is; that might be you.

People have no interest in being part of an agenda.

  • They are interested in being valued for their contribution.
  • They are interested in being part of something important.
  • They are interested in honesty, fairness, openness, and collaboration; as long as these qualities exist in their managers.
  • They are interested in growing, learning and feeling supported in their development.
  • They are interested in feedback that supports their career path.
  • They are interested in someone to watch out for them and guide them as a mentor.

As a leader, do these things and watch the turnover numbers fall.

Leaders who fail to do these things will always experience high turnover and burn out.

When you think you’ve developed yourself enough as a leader, that’s the time others start to surpass you.

Your VIP title isn’t enough.

You’ll need real skills and a commitment to retain your key talent.

The mindset of “good enough” is what keeps leaders and organizations from being great.

To accelerate your leadership development reach out to talk with me.

5 Elements of Leadership that Often Fall Short

It’s easy to talk about leadership development as a focus, and to imagine that organizations are filled with great leaders. Unfortunately that’s not always the way it is.  The reality is all too often far different.

Here’s some evidence:

According to an SHRM 2017 Survey, only 51% of employees are satisfied, or very satisfied with their job. A staggering 40% will be looking for alternative employment in the next 12 months.  While people look for openness and transparency within the organization only about one third feel it exists.

Great leaders initiate desired action. They go first. They hold something up as a worthy cause that inspires others’ participation for the greater good. While being the one who sets it all in motion.

Here are 5 Elements of Leadership that often fall short:

  1. When I give my word I always honor it.

People often have good intentions but don’t follow through. Do you actually do what you say you’re going to do? Are you honoring the promises you’ve made to yourself?

  1. I have people’s best interest in mind in every interaction.

Do you demonstrate that you care about the people around you? Are you supportive to their career growth, even if that means you lose them? Will you tell them the truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear but need to hear?

  1. I’m willing to accept personal responsibility for my errors, mistakes and misunderstandings.

Excuses and rationalizations for substandard efforts and performance are far too common. Are you willing to own your behaviors and actions that fall short of desired outcomes?

  1. I believe in full disclosure of all relevant facts and information about myself and anything I’m involved in that impacts you.

Conflicts of interest are often higher than people realize and will admit. Withholding pertinent information that affects people’s lives does not foster an open, high trust environment. How do you initiate trust?

 I receive compensation for my work and I disclose all the ways I receive compensation so that you have a full and complete understanding of what influences me.

People want to feel that they are part of something important, and to understand how their role fits within the organization. Hidden agendas that push people in certain directions for self-interests are surprisingly common.  Are your personal interests aligned with the best interests of the people who report to you?

High turnover, low morale, conflicts, and substandard performance will inevitably continue until there is either a change in leadership personnel, or a transformation in existing leadership.

That transformation is not happening with the current model of leadership development.

People don’t change because they are told to, or because of personality profiles. They change when they are able to see themselves differently, and are given the tools that influence the human dynamics of the workplace.   

Effective leadership isn’t about perfection, it’s about evolution.

What’s the focus of your leadership development?

Connect with me to talk about the human elements that create transformational change.

Leaders Who Inspire Turnover

All organizations are a reflection of their leadership.

Can people lead effectively without demonstrating emotional competence?

Many leaders unintentionally demonstrate behaviors that interfere with and jeopardize people feeling valued and supported.

A leader who demonstrates anger, condescension, avoidance, and verbally cutting people to ribbons, may not be fit to lead.

It is also clear as research suggests, that a rise in power often leads to a lack of empathy. This disconnects the leader even more from their personnel.

Many leaders talk about valuing their people, but often don’t do it.

Both non-supportive and disengaged leaders inspire turnover.

Effective leaders do not participate in diminishing people.

They hold others to high ideals and standards through supportive, reinforcing behaviors, tones, and attitudes.

But no leader can do that effectively without holding themselves up as examples of the desired behaviors, activities and conversations.

For how long will you work your heart out and give your best for a boss who treats you with negativity, or ignores you?

This is the top reason people leave an organization, and an uncaring mindset that creates mediocrity.

Competent leaders:

  • Are emotionally fit for their roles.
  • Can support, mentor and inspire performance.
  • Demonstrate they genuinely care for their people.
  • Are open and wiling to listen.
  • Initiate trust.
  • Are able to have the difficult conversations and are emotionally fit to do so.

Competent leaders are willing and able to facilitate those struggling and in conflicts, while working towards resolutions with dignity, instead of diminishment.

Here is an unwelcome truth: In order to reduce turnover; the leaders must change, or the organization must change the leaders.

While people may continue to leave for a better opportunity, they will no longer leave because of an uncaring, non-supportive, or dis-engaged boss.

Any organization where leadership is non-supportive or dis-engaged will result in greater turnover, more interpersonal conflicts, low morale and lackluster performance.

Setting more goals and having more meetings won’t help.

A workplace intervention is what’s needed. An honest assessment of the dynamics of the leadership must be done if turn-around is truly desired.

At the very core of all turnover an important truth is either unknown or ignored:

Do you have the right people in the right positions of leadership?

  •        Are they demonstrating competence?
  •        Are they demonstrating caring and support for their personnel?
  •        Are they willing to learn, and develop themselves?
  •        Are they emotionally fit for their positions?
  •        Do they the skills to mentor others?
  •        Do they actively model what the organization claims to want?

The spotlight of truth is the start of transformational change. Without it, no change is ever possible.

If you’d like my thoughts on improving leadership, reach out here. 


Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss


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