Over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting together materials for a new leadership class I’ve been asked to teach.
As I sorted through columns and random notes, I found one I jotted during a conversation with an exasperated senior banker. It was a chat similar to many I’ve had over the years.
He shared his frustrations at losing a solid employee to a competitor. Especially disappointing to him was that she left for the same role with another company.
The note I scribbled was, “If you aren’t preparing your people for their next job, that job will likely be with a different company.”
The person he lost had been with them for just under three years. I asked if it took him by surprise and he said, “It was totally out of left field.”
I’ve likely spoken to hundreds of folks over the years - at all levels of organizations - who have shared they took a new job with another bank.
When I ask if their managers were surprised, the answer is almost always, “Oh, yes. They were shocked.”
When I asked him if this employee was being trained or mentored for other jobs, his answer suggested that they tend to do that only once they know a spot is or soon will be open.
They don’t want to create “unreasonable expectations.”
I then asked if he had anyone ready to take the place of the person he lost and he said, “We’re still looking for the right person.”
When people leave for similar jobs and pay elsewhere, it tends to be because of what they believe the future holds for them where they are.
That chat reinforced a belief I’ve shared with leaders for many years. One of the ways to keep good people in any job is to always be preparing them for their next one.
Regardless of openings today, it shows you are as interested in their future as you are in what they do for you now.
At a former job many moons ago, I had our folks go out of their way to acknowledge branch managers who had former members of their team go on to manage their own branches.
In our eyes, there was no greater measure of an outstanding manager than a track record of developing future managers.
It was no shock that those managers had high performing branches, as well as above average retention levels.
People like working for leaders who invest their time and attention helping them grow.
How are you investing in your team this week?
My fascination with the human ability to rewire our minds led me to an interesting podcast.
The host is Brett McKay and his podcast is entitled, “The Art of Manliness.”
At first glance, I imagined it was either satire or some type of survivalist/prepper show. I was pleasantly surprised, however.
In one particular episode, McKay interviewed a gentleman named David Robson about his book, “The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World.”
It reminded me of a slide I often use to make a point about being aware of the things we allow our minds to dwell on.
It reads, “Your brain physically remaps its neurological development according to your habitual thought patterns. The more you think a certain way, the more your brain becomes wired to think that way.”
In this podcast, Robson shared fascinating anecdotes and data about the power of our beliefs.
He shared how a doctor during World War II used saline shot placebos when they ran dangerously low on morphine. These placebos were incredibly effective when people believed they were receiving morphine.
A full 90% of those undergoing surgery without morphine felt little or no pain.
Robson explains that the brain operates as a prediction machine and our expectations greatly shape the reality we experience.
In one experiment, housekeepers at a hotel were told that their work routines were as beneficial as a daily exercise class. Fliers were also placed about to remind them of this.
Without changing anything, most lost weight and saw their blood pressure improve within a few weeks.
A control group that had not been told of their work’s exercise benefits showed no changes.
It’s been shown that people who consciously look for things to be appreciative of become skilled at finding more things to appreciate.
Similarly, if you consciously strive to compliment others, you become adept at it. (Pro tip: That’s practically a leadership, sales, and customer service superpower.)
Conversely, when we allow ourselves to continually complain about anything and everything, our brains become well-honed complaint machines.
We program our mental filters to find and fixate on the negative needles in otherwise positive haystacks.
The outlook you choose to foster today has very tangible impact on your world.