People leave managers, not companies

Consider 3 Leadership models, which one do you identify with?

The first is the ‘Traditional leadership model’.

  • There is a hierarchy of employees.
  • An organisational chart with a manager at the head.
  • A senior executive or board holds power.
  • Managers often rule with compulsion, force, control and secrecy.
  • Managers are often viewed as intimidating people.
  • Managers jobs are to plan, organise staff, direct and control.
  • Managers command respect through seniority and years of service.
  • Some managers will, when necessary use physical, psychological, and economic force.
  • All efforts are directed at achieving results as evidence of success.
  • Managers get rewards for achieving results, staff do not.
  • Managers do not always welcome new ideas and are often unaware of changes and problems.
  • These managers tend to have frequent staff turnover.
  • - (edited) Kermit Burley, 2017.

The second is the ‘Transformational leadership model.

  • Motivate staff to do more than they originally intended and more than they thought possible.
  • Set more challenging expectations.
  • Typically achieve higher performances.
  • Are charismatic, staff seek to emulate them.
  • Inspire their staff with challenge and persuasion.
  • Are intellectually stimulating, expanding staffs use of their abilities.
  • Are individually considerate, pay attention to staff needs, mentor and coach.
  • Are admired, respected, trusted and encourage creativity and innovation.
  • Do not publicly criticise an individual’s mistakes.
  • Create new learning opportunities with a supportive climate.
  • Recognise individual differences in terms of needs and desires.
  • Accept individual differences (e.g., some staff receive more encouragement, some more autonomy, others firmer standards, and still others more task structure).
  • Delegate tasks as a means of developing staff.
  • - (edited) Bernard M Basa.

The third is the ‘Transitional leadership model’.

  • It considers that the concepts of leadership and management are transposable and are not just inseparable; they are the same.
  • It is based on Transformational leadership.
  • It trains managers to become High-Performance Managers.
  • It emphasises people with leadership skills.
  • It introduces High-Performance team-based behaviours and techniques.
  • It trains all levels of management (not just senior executives) on how to manage and lead.
  • It builds High-Performance Teams.
  • Employees are demanding higher levels of job satisfaction and managers who are open and honest and who value their employees’ contributions, they want to be recognised for their efforts, work in a collaborative environment and have a say in how the workplace is managed.
  • The Transitional approach identifies and calls out leaders who rule with compulsion and force.
  • It is being driven by the new Millennial workforce, who are vocal about what they want their workplace to look like, millennials will not accept the old-style methods of the Traditional model.

The new workforce.

  • Millennial workforce expectations do not fit with the Traditional command-and-control approach, which is more managing and administering than leading and is viewed as stifling, unreasonable and unwarranted.
  • Unlike the Baby Boomers before them, Millennials are not prepared to be quiet about this, and they are making their feelings known about their attitudes towards work and their expectations about how they want to be treated at work.
  • Millennials respond favourably to the Transitional model. High-Performance Teams are perfect for them. It fulfils their willingness and desire to work across teams, as well as their constant need for feedback and reinforcement and praise for their being tech-savvy.
  • No matter how they are viewed, the simple truth is that Millennials look at work dramatically differently than the generation that immediately preceded them.



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Russell Futcher

Russell Futcher


IT Change Management, High-Performance Management and Teams Specialist, Leadership Development, Team Building, Author