Why do the good ones leave?

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

How is the organizational culture where you work? How is morale? Depending on the day and when asked, the answers can run the gambit of responses and emotions.

A document was discovered in the ruins of a London office building. It was dated 1852. Here are a few of the notices that were posted for a group of employees: 1) This firm has reduced the hours of work, and clerical staff will only have to be present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays, 2) Now that the hours of business have been drastically reduced, the partaking of food is allowed between 11:30 and noon, but work will not on any account cease, 3) No talking is allowed during business hours, and 4) The craving for tobacco, wine, or spirits is a human weakness, and as such is forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.

Would you like to reconsider your answer about morale in your organization now?

Here’s what we do know from polling and surveys, like this one from Gallup (http://bit.ly/1uUCjpX) that reports employees are just not as engaged as they once were.

It’s been said that people don’t quit organizations, they quit leaders. It’s a sad but true commentary on the lack of leadership skills that are so desperately needed in the workplace.

There are consequences to poor leadership and where it’s not present, people will leave to find it. Inevitably it’s the good employees who leave. Left behind is a weakened and demoralized team forced to pick up the pieces.

But why do the good ones leave? What is the tipping point in which a good employee will cash in the chips and bolt? The specifics vary, of course, but typically the good ones leave for these reasons.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no backbone

This type of leader plays to the crowd and will say whatever he or she thinks you want to hear. The good ones had rather hear the uncomfortable truth than the pleasant sounds of an appeaser. The good ones want a leader who is not afraid to make the difficult decisions.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no vision

The good ones long for and thrive in an environment where the leader has a vision for the future, can articulate it, and sets a course of action that will take them there. The good ones understand that without a clear vision for the future there is no future to be had by staying.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no skin in the game

It will be hard to command the respect of your people if you have no skin in the game as it relates to your organization and its mission. You can’t expect a buy-in from your people if you are not fully invested yourself. The good ones seek to be with leaders who are as passionately invested as they are.

The good ones leave because of leaders who place limits on their potential

The good ones will thrive in a culture of excellence where their hard work and talents are put to best use. The good ones will not sit idly by while the leader plays politics or favorites and be denied the opportunity to advance professionally.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no accountability

The good ones fundamentally understand that accountability and transparency are the cornerstones of success. When a leader no longer feels the need to be transparent or be accountable for his or her actions, then the good ones will not stay. Trust is like glue for the leader, is there is none, people won’t stick.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no boundaries

Ultimately, the leader is responsible for the culture of the organization. If proper boundaries are not being observed and inappropriate behaviors are being tolerated- such as bullying, then the good ones will not stay in that environment.

The good ones leave because of leaders with no integrity

At the end of the day it all comes down to the integrity of the leader. The good ones want their leader to be a person of integrity and one they can trust. If integrity is lacking in the leader then integrity will be lacking in the culture. The good ones will leave to avoid the connection.

Many personal factors contribute to the reasons why the good ones tend to leave and move on. I’ve discovered that it’s not always for the money or a promotion. The good ones understand the wisdom of the words of John Maxwell who said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” That’s why the good ones leave- to be with good leaders. What do you say?

© 2016 Doug Dickerson Doug Dickerson is an internationally recognized leadership speaker, columnist, and author. A Lowcountry resident, Doug is available to speak for your civic, business, or church group. To learn more visit Dougdickerson.wordpress.com.

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