An ocean view with a sunset

What’s in the wake of your genuine leadership?

Recently, a statistic was published revealing that more than 79% of employees will quit their current positions because of inadequate or a lack of appreciation provided by leaders and managers. This report also included that 69% of Millennials are concerned that their workplace does not develop their leadership skills.

Yet more than 83% of business enterprises report that developing leaders is crucial.

How to foster authentic leadership can be difficult to articulate and even an elusive aspect to consistently demonstrate. Trust and appreciation are critical. A leader’s presence leaves a wake, much like a great ship on the ocean. This wake is a significant experience, especially in turbulent times. Demonstrating, modeling, and communicating trust resonates within a leader’s presence when it is real. These can be a genuine priority for leaders. How leaders engage with their people, the choice of their words and timing of communication as well as a willingness to consistently energize calm, appreciation, and empathy, truly does matter. These are experienced after the leader is no longer seen or present. Some leaders leave a wake of trust and focused credibility, while others may leave a cross-current of confusion, frustration, or even the bitter aftertaste of their own self-concern.

What’s in your leadership wake?

Are you a calming contributor to your team or work culture? Do you add to or clarify human values within your workplace, whether that workplace is in-person, remote, or flexible? Are you modeling how to be clear? Or what it means to be accountable? Are you making excuses, denying, or forgetting what you promised?

Providing a compelling vision and mission that is realizable and believable is essential. Owning what changed or how people may experience change helps people respond productively to new workplace realities. Be the embodiment of credibility and trust, this is fundamental for growing a culture of accountability. Be a force for giving and receiving appreciation. Consider how you are showing up to support calm, clarity, innovation, and accountability. See your wake for what it is and adjust it if need be. Own and cultivate this awareness within your people.

Ask your people about the wake they will make for and with others.

This is particularly important given today’s managers and leaders report that only some organizations are taking steps to guard against burnout, even though nearly a third (29%) wish businesses would display more empathy. Almost 60% of leaders reported feeling worn out at the end of each day, often an indicator of burnout. More than 44% of leaders who feel worn out planned to move to a new company, and 26% of those same respondents plan to leave their current company within one year. Those with high potential for leadership have faced even greater stress. One survey focusing on high-potential professionals found that 86% felt exhausted by the end of the day, an increase of 27% over the previous year.

Now is the time to support leaders who want to grow and sustain trust.