The 2013 Global Leadership Summit Recap (Part 1 – How to Lose Your Best People)

The 2013 Global Leadership Summit Recap (Part 1 – How to Lose Your Best People)

I attended the Global Leadership Summit on August 8-9, 2013.  I have attended the Summit for the last six years.  The Summit is the single-most beneficial and inspirational professional development training program that I have attended.  In a series of posts, I would like to share some of the wisdom and inspiration that I received at the Summit.  For my first post, I am going to highlight the presentation of Patrick Lencioni, who is one of the world’s most influential (and entertaining) business speakers.

Lencioni identified three signs of a a miserable job that will cause a leader to lose his/her best people:

1. Anonymity –  People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not truly known.  People who see themselves as invisible, generic, or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing. Good people who are made to feel like a commodity or a cog in a machine will leave your organization.

2. Irrelevance – Everyone needs to know that their job matters to someone.  Anyone. Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply will not find lasting fulfillment.  (I thought of associates at large law firms who do lots of grunt work and ghost-writing, but rarely interact with clients — no wonder they are miserable)  Lencioni noted that it is the Leader’s job to help employees understand their relevance.  This can be particularly uncomfortable for leaders when it comes to the relevance of administrative assistants, whose relevance is directly tied to making the Leaders’ lives better.  Leaders should accept, acknowledge and celebrate that fact with the administrative person, no matter how uncomfortable that might be.

3. Immeasurement – Employees need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves. They cannot be fulfilled in their work if their success depends on the opinions and whims of another person, no matter how benevolent that person may be.  Increases in pay are not meaningful measurements of progress and contribution.  Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fates.

Next Week: Highlights of Gen. Colin Powell’s Presentation

Jason M. Ensley