People Quit People, Not Companies

It’s still stunning to read that some sources estimate as many as 65% of people leave companies because of their manager. We hear various reasons why people leave companies and organizations they work for, but the reality is, they usually quit because of their leaders.

Emotionally intelligent leaders can reverse this trend. The more you put into your team members and personal leadership, the greater success and longevity your team will have together.

Here are four shifts Manager’s can make to ensure people, especially high-performing people don’t leave:
1. Shift from devalue and high value
My parents have been married well over 60 years. I asked my father once, “What’s the recipe for a long, happy marriage?” He explained, “Steve, I keep it simple. I try to say something nice to your mother every day.” You can do the same with those you are leading. Look for people’s value and express your appreciation for them.

2. Shift from “no trust” to trustworthy

  • Act consistently
  • Show stable emotional self-management
  • Share information, don’t act secretive
  • Openly share your own wins and setbacks
  • Model respect and never allow indignities
  • Focus on a shared vision and goals
  • Share the truth even if it’s disappointing
When leaders break trust, it’s like breaking a mirror — you might be able to recover the pieces but it will always show cracks. Maintain the strength of your integrity.

3. Shift from uncentered to center
Uncentered leaders are up and down, insecure and unsettled. Centered leaders are steady at the helm, even during the storms. They anchor around defined values, purpose, and personal confidence.

4. Shift from insecure to secure
Insecure leaders are easy to spot. They want power, privilege, and recognition. Secure leaders want to fire people up, not put their fire out and display servant leadership, self-awareness, and soul-filled perspective.

I encourage you to treat others well, especially those you lead. Say something nice to them every day, recognize that your emotional health creates a safe and secure environment where people choose to stay.

Here’s to your centered leadership!


As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.