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The Number One Reason Leaders Are Jumping Ship

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

We've been right in the thick of delivering our leadership development program, and I naively thought the landscape had calmed down a little bit from the 'great resignation'. And while it has to some degree, there's a common theme that keeps popping up in the conversations I'm having and it's something along the lines of:

'we don't have anyone ready as part of our succession plan',

'leadership is very immature in our organisation',

'we don't have the right leadership capabilities to get us where we need to be in the next 3-5 years'.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Did you know that in a recent survey by LMA* more than two-thirds of employees at all levels of organisations believe leadership development is one of the most important strategic factors facing organisations today?

It’s interesting to note that there is a difference between the motivators for leaders vs employees. The number one motivator for employees, for both staying and going, was salary.

However, for leaders, it was a little different.

The survey went on to show that the number one reason a leader would stay with their current organisation is for leadership training and development opportunities.

Also (not surprisingly) the number one reason a leader would be attracted to another organisation is for the leadership training and development opportunities…

Managers in particular identified that the development of leaders requires urgent attention at all levels in order to deliver the desired outcomes.

I’m seeing a trend here…

The survey identified that the recipe for developing and delivering effective leadership is reasonably simple to follow with the appropriate level of training and development. The main areas to focus on in terms of leadership competencies are communication (my speciality), problem-solving and decision-making and developing and coaching others. Interestingly, ‘strategic thinking’ only rated seventh in the list of competencies.

Besides competencies, there’s the human element - the behaviours which are instrumental to effective leadership. There appeared to be a disconnect between what behaviours leaders thought they were exhibiting versus the perception of employees.

Leaders believed their leadership behaviours were:

  1. Motivating and bringing out the best in others

  2. Developing others

  3. Solving problems effectively

What employees say:

  1. Operating with a strong results orientation

  2. Being supportive

  3. Remaining composed and confident in uncertainty.

So where does this disparity come from? Essentially, it’s our leaders who need to do further development, in particular, self-awareness and being able to communicate effectively. Leaders need to work hard to meet the expectations people have about leadership and ensure a positive impact.

What we do know is that developing leaders is fundamental to creating sustainable organisations.

In short, if you want to keep your leaders (and you should), they’re thirsty for development and training opportunities. They really are looking to be the best they can to lead their people.

To attract new leadership talent, start thinking about what sets you apart in the training and development space. Are you cranking the handle and rolling out boring (cookie-cutter) programs with little to no support to actually implement once back in the workplace? Or, are you offering the opportunity to your leaders to attend world-class cutting-edge programs that are designed off the back of real-life experience and change the way leaders think, act and do?

If you'd like to have a chat about how I can help your leaders get up to accelerate their leadership, you can find a time that works for you here. Here's what others have said about some of our programs

Until next time Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird, and start developing leadership.



Ally Nitschke is a Leadership Expert, Courageous Conversation Specialist and Speaker. She has been working with leaders and as a Leader for over 15 years. She is on a mission to change the way we communicate at work, to lean into those uncomfortable conversations and lead with courage. Ally delivers Courageous Conversations Programs, Courageous Leadership programs, Coaching, Mentoring and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.


If you are interested in having Ally speak at an upcoming event or would like more information about Ally's Programs please book a call.

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