Better leaders or better followers?

Is your company among the 87% of employers who say improving retention is a key priority?*

It’s a struggle for business owners and HR professionals alike – keeping employees, especially those deemed as high-potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median number of years wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years in January 2018.


Business with a strong learning culture enjoy employee engagement and retention rates 30-50% higher than those that don’t. – Robert Half

Keep your employees by demonstrating your commitment to them.

Vistage Master Chair Christine Spray will be taking a limited number of applicants for her Emerging Leader Program, kicking off on April 2.
The program curriculum is organized into four modules – Personal, Interpersonal, Team, and Organizational. Today’s post shifts our focus away from the leader.
Researchers Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard developed the Situational Leadership Model to shed light on an oft-overlooked aspect of practical leadership development: the attributes of the staff.
The makeup of any given team is as diverse as the number of possible DNA sequences. People are on different intellectual, maturity, and motivational levels. Effective leaders need to address their staff where each employee is at. The Situational Leadership Model identifies these as the four types of leader/follower styles:
  • Telling
    • Staff are characterized by low competence and low commitment, being unable and unwilling to comply, with possible feelings of insecurity.
    • Leaders must focus highly on tasks, with clear instructions and regular follow up. The leader must be encouraging and motivational, offering praise for positive results and correction for less than positive results.
  • Selling
    • Staff at this level have developed some competence with an improved (but perhaps not reliable) commitment, and are open to becoming cooperative and motivated.
    • Leaders must still focus highly on tasks with a focus on developing a relationship with the employee, and spend more time listening and offering advice, less “telling” and more “suggesting” and encouragement, acting as a coach.
  • Participating
    • Staff is now highly competent, but not yet convinced in his or her ability or not fully committed to doing their best and excel.
    • Leaders no longer need to give detailed instructions but do need to be involved to ensure work is done at the level required, focusing less on the tasks assigned and more on the relationship between the individual employee, the leader, and the team.
  • Delegating
    • Staff now feel fully empowered and competent enough to take the ball and run with minimal supervision, and are highly committed, motivated and empowered.
    • Leaders delegate tasks with minimal follow-up, knowing acceptable or excellent results will be achieved; there is low focus on tasks and no need to compliment staff on every task, though praise for outstanding performance must be given as appropriate.
The Vistage Emerging Leader program provides a holistic view of leadership, along with training to apply what’s learned in the classroom to the workplace.
*source: Future Workplace and Kronos
  • Companies with 20-500 employees
  • Employee is currently second/third in the management hierarchy, or poised to be in a management role soon, or identified as a rising star
  • 2-year program with six full-day programs every other month
  • Interactive workshops on 12 core leadership competencies
  • Mentor/mentee training for on-the-job reinforcement


Benefits to your organization
  • Bench strength
  • Employee retention
  • Improved execution
Benefits to emerging leaders
  • Develop core leadership competencies
  • Improve career advancement opportunities
  • Grow your network with other emerging leaders