Why Leadership Matters
When people move into a leadership role, usually it's because they're very good at the work they do and not because of their leadership ability. Suddenly, they find themselves in a situation where they're in charge of a team that is quietly deciding whether you are someone they trust and respect. As we might expect, that comes with its own unique set of caveats.
The Leader is Always on Stage
As the leader, the team’s eyes are always on you. The way you handle yourself impacts the level of respect your team has for you, as well as the level of commitment they feel for their jobs and to the organization overall. The decisions you make, the way you speak to people, the intentions that show through in your interactions with others, all of that is constantly being observed and subconsciously judged by the people you manage. If employees don’t feel valued by their leader, if they don’t feel like they are given opportunities to develop their career, if they don’t trust or respect you as their leader, they will find other opportunities and they will leave.
Leadership Impacts Turnover
Turnover is costly both financially and psychologically for the business. It costs organizations approximately 33% of the employee’s annual salary between exiting and covering the lost employee’s responsibilities, hiring/onboarding a new employee plus the low-performance time as the new hire ramps up in their training. Meanwhile, the long-lasting negative effects on the workplace culture become new barriers to overcome.
The Problem with Learning Leadership Skills from Books
There is a lot riding on your shoulders as a leader, and there are tons of books out there with sometimes conflicting (and a lot of times, outdated) information on what is the right and wrong thing to do.
You can read those on your own and try to find your own path, but that will take precious time and energy on your part, and it could potentially cost you losing your best team members in the process.
That turnover is going to have a negative impact on your confidence as a leader, and on your remaining team members who are potentially growing weary of carrying more responsibility on their shoulders as more and more team members leave the company.
All of that is besides the tremendous financial repercussions that turnover has on the business.
What Smart Leaders Know
Smart leaders know that pairing quality with efficiency is key. You can spend your time navigating the “trial and error” path yourself by reading leadership books and trying to apply that knowledge yourself, or you can team up with experienced coaches that will help illuminate your path to success. The path that teaches you exactly how to inspire your team members to do their best work. The path that nourishes the commitment they have to you as the leader, and to the success of the business. That path that keeps your high performers in place, saving the business time, money, and a lot of unnecessary angst.
We always say... it's lonely at the top. But you don't have to sit up there alone.
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