I am on a mission. In fact…WE are on a mission. This mission is about the quality of life we all live. It’s about the energy we have when we get home. It’s about living a fulfilled life. Where we give the best to the relationships in our lives. Where we are the best versions of ourselves for our spouses and our children.
Last year the work force phenomena known as the Great Resignation emerged. People quit their jobs at an alarming and record rate between April and December of 2021. We have approximately 165 million people in the US work force at any given moment. Last year we had an average of 3.98 million people quit their job each month. That means approximately 47.76 million people quit their job last year. Over 25 percent of our work force quit last year!!(To learn more on this you can go to the bureau of labor statistics website at www.bps.gov )
The why has many reasons. Poor pay scaling and compensation leads amongst the reasons people quit. Many found it more effective to quit their jobs and find a competitor than to seek a pay raise internally. Others vary such as toxic work environments, incompetent leadership, unfulfilling work, and unrealistic job expectations. The roots of each of these has been dialogued and dissected countlessly. Treating each of these individually is pointless because the root of the problem isn’t getting fixed. These are all symptoms of the real problem.
LEADERSHIP IS THE PROBLEM. Boil it down and who is ultimately responsible for each of these problems? A supervisor or manager. What that problem is with each leader varies but ultimately that is where the problem rests. Leadership guru John Maxwell has two quotes that should be pondered on.
The First is: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
To the core of my being I believe this to be true. Leadership controls where the money goes, the people it hires, the objectives of our teams, what activities to pursue, the culture of the team, and who it keeps. This is true for the vast majority of problems that lead to our workforce quitting.
The Second is: “ People quit people, not companies”
Ponder on this. If this is true then it means more than a quarter of our workforce quit because of a person. This person may have held the keys to better pay, may have had the power to correct a toxic work environment, or may have been the direct cause of a lot of pain. We quit because of them.
Quitting isn’t easy. In fact it is hard to do. It takes bravery and a lot of pain to move most people to the point of quitting. After all, we have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and passions to pursue. Quitting threatens all of that. We will tolerate a fair amount before quitting becomes an option because of the threat it presents to our security. The point is, don’t scoff at the alarming numbers of the Great Resignation
The first step is to recognize that leadership in our organizations and companies is the root problem.
To elaborate on what is missing here are a few questions that may help:
1. What made your best school teacher the best?
2. What is different about the best team you have been on and or have seen, and your current organization?
Here it is, bottom line up front.
We are not meeting the security needs of our people. Monetary security, physical security, and emotional security. Instead what is chased is the overall objective. What makes money is the course we navigate as leaders.
Leadership chases the results. We are programmed to think that the responsibility of the leader is results. Incorrect my good person. The responsibility of results is our tribes responsibility. The leaders responsibility is enabling their tribe to do so.
How we got here is simple. Management has very poor support and initial education for brand new leaders. With poor support the only measure or yard stick to meet is “the numbers” directed from above. Leadership is imitated so for many they just haven’t seen a leader who was focused on the team and not the numbers. So many believe its an either-or situation. It’s either get the numbers, or take care of the people. The fact that taking care of the people is needed to build a high performance team is lost on many.
Here is a thought experiment:
What would change if we removed all the titles of our entry and middle managers and replaced it with teacher or coach?
Its a game changer. The assumed responsibilities and activities in the leaders day changes. How we view our people changes drastically. We view our people as assets. Valuable assets to invest in.
Why be a teacher? The teacher is knowledgeable, stewards the classroom, ensures their charges safety, and teaches the individual. Don’t be a manager. Be a teacher.
Why be a coach? The coach builds the best team. The coach sees the objective and organizes the team to accomplish those. Don’t be a manager. Be a coach.
The first step is:
Change what we associate leadership with. Be a teacher and a coach.
Change what we expect from above. Expect a teacher and a coach.
Change what our relationships as leaders look like. We are a teacher and a coach.
WE are on a mission for change. Be the change.