Why People Leave a Business

This is from a LinkedIn discussion group. The question being discussed was” Do people leave a business because of its managers?” The following was my response.

“I believe the character, soul and values of a business are manifested by its leadership. This applies even if the stated mission, vision and values of a business say something different. It is a “you are what you do” sort of thing. If I am right, then people leave a business because of its leadership when there is no alignment in these areas.”

Voice of the Business

Some of the first questions that a business must answer are:

• Why do we exist?
• Who are our customers?
• What is our mission or purpose?
• What is our vision?

To understand the importance of the answers to these questions, we must first understand that different stakeholders in a business have different perspectives. The stockholders wish to get a return on their investment. Workers wish to get a good wage for their work. Managers and officers wish to meet the business performance metrics set forth by the owners (stockholders, etc). The community wishes to have a neighbor that provides jobs, pays taxes, supports the community, and has no negative environmental impact. These are just a few.

Personal Motivation

Personal motivation has 4 components:

  • Belief in purpose
  • Belief in process
  • Belief in self
  • Definition of success

Belief in purpose is about having a reason to want to achieve a goal or objective. What is the burning “Yes” in your life that makes you want to be successful?  For some it is our families, for others it may be a desired life style or a cause we are passionate about. In any case, you have to know what it is.  I am not talking about head knowledge in this case.  It is heart knowledge you need.

How is Your Vision?

How detailed is your vision? I’m not talking about whether or not you need glasses, but whether or not you have enough detailed information to make good decisions.

This is an issue with both business and personal decisions.  It is, in fact, why so many business process improvement initiatives fail. Six Sigma process improvement projects are meant to address this issue for businesses, but you also need a personal strategy to avoid falling prey to poor resolution (lack of detail) How many times have you decided on an action only to find that a critical, missing, detail undermined your success?  .