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An Argument for a Leadership First Approach™

As an exciting piece of news, I was recently selected as a contributor to Authority Magazine to write an article and respond to an interview related to leadership and communication.

In addition, a connection of mine recently told me that something she hears many leaders and owners voice concern for right now is the “retention of good people” especially when it still feels like there are not many applicants to any one job. And that “investments in employee development seem to be a timely strategy for mitigating turnover.”

It may seem like my article announcement and this concern for retention are not entirely related, but a section of the article I wrote for the magazine actually touches on both. The section below is an excerpt from my submission and challenges the idea that employee development is where we need to focus our energy in order to boost retention.

While I of course support employee development, the approach that I suggest will foster greater fulfillment, retention, and investment in organizational success than offering employee benefits, compensation plans, and team events.


If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.


Oh, this is a fun question (mmwahaha). I hear a lot of organizations emphasize team development. And while that is admirable and often based on the people-first position of servant leadership, I advocate for a Leadership First Approach™.

In many ways the success of an organization is a direct reflection of the leadership that oversees it. Success in employee performance and retention, success in customer experience and retention, success in scaling and growth, etc. So, we can correlate that it is in a company’s best interest to invest in the development of its leadership because enhancing leadership first offers trickle-down effects that support the organization from now into the future.

One could argue that it’s the people/employees of a company that drive growth and progress. And I would add that leadership is what shapes these thriving and high-performing teams. A high-performing team has a greater influence on the organization’s success because they are taught how to focus on goals and achieve results together. They have critical thinking skills, ask questions, offer ideas, communicate, and collaborate. These teams meet expectations consistently, and exceed expectations when opportunities require it. So if a company wants to shape these high-performing teams that support the growth of high-performing organizations, then they need to start at the top with enhancing leadership first.

As an added point to consider, people in leadership have usually been around the organization awhile and plan to be for awhile more (promotion is often seen from tenure and/or experience). People on teams can come and go a little more frequently. So with a leadership first approach, no matter what turnover occurs within teams or how many new employees you add from growth, leadership can continue to apply and reapply what they gain and learn over and over. Its kept knowledge. This creates sustainability and scalability, and empowers the organization for the long term. It’s a solution that sticks. And that’s my favorite kind.

To read more…

You can click this link to read the full article and interview for the magazine.




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